Interactive Wellness Software for Adult Cancer Patients

Period of Performance: 08/01/1994 - 01/31/1995

Unknown

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Yellowstone Environmental Science
320 South Willson Avenue
Bozeman, MT 59715
Principal Investigator

Abstract

As cancer treatments improve, the view that the illness is "chronic" rather than "terminal" is becoming widespread. Under this new paradigm, caregivers have an increasing obligation to help patients and their families learn how to live with the illness. While attention is given to "quality of life" as a clinical trial endpoint, development of innovative approaches to measuring and enhancing quality of life in cancer patients is needed. This research will assess the technical feasibility of developing an interactive, knowledge-based expert system for enhancing communication regarding life satisfaction issues among adult cancer patients and their caregivers. The purpose of the software is to improve the quality of that communication and to thereby improve conditions affecting the patient's satisfaction with life, such as functional capacity, self-perception of wellness, and symptoms of disease or treatment. Existing tools for evaluation of quality of life will be reviewed. Commonly-accepted interventions to loss of life satisfaction will be identified. Criteria will be established for initiation of direct communication between a patient and his/her caregivers. Object-oriented programming techniques will be used to prepare high- and low-level software design documentation. A software prototype will be constructed and subjected to alpha testing.