Interactive Health Communication Applications ( Ichas )

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Interactive health communication applications (ICHAs) are internet-based patient centered support systems designed to enhance patient-clinician partnerships. Variable differences between the presentations of symptoms can impact a patient’s subjective experience of illness. Frequent questions and concerns about symptom management and self-care increase the demand for health care services. The rising demand for interactive healthcare calls for advanced tools to provide reliable advice, education, and social support that can help patients actively participate in managing chronic illness. The “Effects of an Internet Support System to Assist Cancer Patients in Reducing Symptom Distress” (Ruland et al., 2013) records the basic findings of a study aimed to analyze the effectiveness of Internet interventions to support patients at different stages of disease and treatment. “A Cochrane review of 24 randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that summarized the effects of different IHCAs for people with chronic diseases concluded that they have a significant effect on knowledge, perceived social support, health behaviors, clinical outcomes, and a greater likelihood than not to have a positive effect on self-efficacy” (Ruland et al., 2013, p.7). Additional research is important for the nursing practice due to increasing trends in health care costs and the key role nurses play in patient care and education. To further evaluate preliminary findings, the comprehensive content of WebChoice

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