February 24, 2004

BOZEMAN -- The Women to Women Project, a computer support network for rural women with chronic illness, is seeking women to participate in a study group forming in the late summer or early fall of 2004. The College of Nursing at Montana State University-Bozeman is in its eighth year of conducting the program that evaluates the use of technology and assesses its effect on the quality of life of rural women with chronic illness.

Women interested in participating in the next study group must be between the ages of 35 and 65, living with a chronic disease such as multiple sclerosis, arthritic condition, or heart disease. Participants must live at least 25 miles outside of a town with 12,500 or more in the states of Montana, Idaho, North Dakota, South Dakota or Wyoming.

Women in the project are assigned to one of three groups. One group is provided with Internet access that allows them to participate in a self-help support group and gain information from health teaching units and group discussions guided by experts. A second group has Internet access but only completes self-guided health teaching units. The third group does not use computers but provides important health-related data; they also receive printed health information similar to that of the computer groups at the completion of the study.

All groups participate in a telephone interview and complete six written mail questionnaires during the 24-month study. To qualify for participation, women must be physically able to use a computer but having a computer is not necessary.

Women who are interested in the project are encouraged to call the program's toll-free number, (888) 375-1317 at Montana State University-Bozeman, College of Nursing, Bozeman, Montana, or contact the program through e-mail at: scudney@montana.edu

Contact: Shirley Cudney (888) 375-1317 or (406) 994-6036

February 20, 2004 -- by Carol Schmidt MSU News Service