Influence of a Computer Intervention on the Psychological Status of Chronically III Rural Women]]>Logo of nihpaAbout Author manuscriptsSubmit a manuscriptHHS Public Access; Author Manuscript; Accepted for publication in peer reviewed journal; ]]>
Nurs Res. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2006 July 4.
Published in final edited form as:
PMCID: PMC1484522
NIHMSID: NIHMS10451

Influence of a Computer Intervention on the Psychological Status of Chronically III Rural Women

Preliminary Results

Abstract

Background

Adaptation to chronic illness is a lifelong process presenting numerous psychological challenges. It has been shown to be influenced by participating in support groups. Rural women with chronic illness face additional burdens as access to information, healthcare resources, and sources of support are often limited. Developing virtual support groups and testing the effects on psychosocial indicators associated with adaptation to chronic illness may help remove barriers to adaptation.

Objective

To examine the effects of a computer-delivered intervention on measures of psychosocial health in chronically ill rural women including social support, self-esteem, empowerment, self-efficacy, depression, loneliness, and stress.

Methods

An experimental design was used to test a computer-delivered intervention and examine differences in psychosocial health between women who participated in the intervention (n = 44) and women in a control group (n = 56).

Results

Differences between women who participated in the intervention and controls were found for self-esteem, F(1,98) = 5.97, p = .016; social support, F(1,98) = 4.43, p = .038; and empowerment, F(1,98) = 6.06, p = .016. A comparison of means for depression, loneliness, self-efficacy, and stress suggests that differences for other psychosocial variables are possible.

Discussion

The computer-based intervention tested appears to result in improved self-esteem, social support, and empowerment among rural women with chronic illness. Descriptive but nonsignificant differences were found for other psychosocial variables (depression, loneliness, self-efficacy, and stress); women who participated in the intervention appeared to improve more than women in the control group.

Keywords: chronic illness, computer-based intervention, psychosocial outcomes, rural
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