Computer Intervention: Illness Self-Management/Quality of Life of Rural Women

Clarann Weinert, Shirley Cudney, Bryan Comstock, Aasthaa Bansal


The Women To Women project, a computer-based support and educational research intervention, was designed to help rural women better understand and manage their chronic illnesses. Its impact on psychosocial adaptation has been reported elsewhere. This article reports on the effect of a computer intervention on chronic illness self-management skills and quality of life. Using a parallel 2-group study design, the researchers randomized 309 middle-aged rural women with chronic conditions to either a computer-based intervention or a control group. They collected data on self-management of chronic illness and quality of life indicators at baseline and at the end of the intervention. Women in the intervention group reported significantly more self-efficacy in managing their chronic disease than those in the control group and the observed effect was of moderate size. Women in the intervention group also reported statistically significant gains in quality of life; effect sizes were small but consistent. Select chronic illness self-management skills and quality of life can be positively influenced by a well-designed computer intervention.

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