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Cancer Control Research

5R44CA099873-03
Parker, B. Eugene
COMPUTER IMAGING TO DIMINISH ALOPECIA DISTRESS

Abstract

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The goal of the research proposed herein is to develop a low-cost, user-friendly, computer-based imaging system for use by women to reduce anxiety and distress relating to alopecia (hair loss) prior to or following chemotherapy. It has been reported that 47 percent to 58 percent of women with cancer cite the likelihood of alopecia as the most disturbing anticipated aspect of receiving chemotherapy; 8 percent stated that they seriously considered refusing treatment due to this possibility. Utilizing advanced graphical processing techniques, the proposed "Help for Alopecia through Image Representations" (HAIR) system will permit cancer patients of all races and ethnicities to interactively visualize, using their own image, the process of hair loss, accessorization options (e.g., wigs, head scarves, hats, etc.), and the corresponding stages of hair regrowth. "Scripting" (i.e., rehearsing) the side effects of chemotherapy and potential patient responses will significantly reduce the anxiety caused by the prospect of alopecia. This will serve to desensitize women to alopecia, allow them to make better informed treatment decisions, and facilitate coping when it occurs.


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