Surviving cancer is an enormous accomplishment. Staying healthy to live an active, productive life is the next step in any survivor’s journey. The National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (NACDD) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have developed engaging, interactive coaching conversations with computer animated virtual humans that will answer your questions and guide you to a life of continued health. To learn more about these tools visit, conversationsaboutcancer.org.
The NACDD Innovative Communication in Cancer Prevention and Control project focused on two health communication scenarios for the Southeastern United States. In the first scenario, public service announcements featuring Joan Lunden addressing Triple Negative Breast Cancer and a virtual reality simulation named, “Talk to Someone: Triple Negative Breast Cancer,” provided new tools for healthcare professionals and public health practitioners in need of innovative ways to help people make decisions about healthcare. In the second scenario, two colorectal cancer public service announcements that encourage adults to receive proper screening for colorectal cancer were broadcast in outpatient waiting rooms by CBS and Health Media Network.
As the number of cancer survivors increases, their long-term health outcomes have become an important issue. Studies reflect cancer survivors who engage in multi-component, evidence-based wellness behaviors, such as tobacco use cessation, stress and relaxation activities, improved nutrition, and increased physical activity have improved quality of life, physical function, and reduced fatigue. Rural cancer survivors typically experience limited or no availability or access to suitable wellness programs.
NACDD, CDC, and five community-based organizations collaborated to implement a multi-component wellness program in rural communities using the framework outlined by the “Comprehensive Cancer Control Guidance for Developing Cancer Survivor Wellness Programs.” NACDD provided technical assistance to the community-based organizations through a series of seven webinars that highlighted the processes of the framework. Two webinars and four success stories share the results of the project.
An NACDD-conducted needs assessment on skin cancer messaging aimed at African-American and Hispanic adults aged 18-44 years, included holding focus groups with 159 participants. The assessment provided guidance on whether to adapt or develop materials and messages and guided the methods of delivery for meeting the needs of both target populations.
Studies show that few specialty or primary care providers of cancer care are engaging in routine discussions with patients about psychosocial concerns or treatment options. To address this treatment gap, NACDD and CDC’s Division of Cancer Prevention and Control are partnering and leveraging the expertise of Kognito to develop an interactive, online, CME-accredited, health simulation training for healthcare providers to teach them how to have discussions about mental health distress management and to provide supportive resources for cancer survivors.