full-length articles drawn from the scientific and/or popular press available on other Web sites. The Consumer Guide provides descriptions of 150 services to help users visualize what it will be like to receive the service, learn to identify a good provider, and become an effective consumer. Web Links includes direct connections to other Web sites or specific pages in those sites. The Resource Directory describes local and/or national services and ways to contact them.
Communication Services offer information and emotional support to users. Professionally moderated bulletin board Discussion Groups for patients, partners, prayer groups, and other groups are open to any CHESS user, but are limited to 50 participants. Ask an Expert allows people to receive a confidential response to questions from specialists at the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI’s) regional Cancer Information Service. Responses are made anonymously and available for all users within Open Expert. Live Chats are scheduled real-time discussions facilitated by content experts. Journaling provides a private (content saved only on the user’s floppy disk) forum for users to write their deepest thoughts and feelings about prostate cancer in a controlled and timed environment. Personal Stories are accounts of how people cope with prostate cancer. Video Gallery allows users to see prostate cancer patients and their spouses talk about how they coped with the disease and its treatment.
CHESS Analysis Services include: (1) Health Tracking— people enter data on their health status every 2 weeks and receive graphs of how their health status is changing; (2) Decision and Conflicts—patients and families examine important treatment decisions by watching video clips of prostate cancer patients talking about how they made their decision, or by using a structured decision analysis; and (3) Action Plans—a decision theory model helps users plan behavior changes by identifying goals, resources, and ways to overcome obstacles.
In a randomized CHESS trial of younger women with breast cancer, about one-third of the participants were low-income, in-