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Support Dr. Heather Baer study how YHS affects people’s perceptions of their risk, as well as their knowledge and attitudes about prevention and screening.
The Principle Investigator on this project is Heather J. Baer, ScD. She is an Associate Epidemiologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and an Instructor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School.
Your Health Snapshot (YHS) is a simple, web-based tool for identifying individuals at increased risk for cancer and giving them personalized recommendations for prevention and screening. Help the Campaign for Cancer Prevention study how YHS affects people’s perceptions of their risk, as well as their knowledge and attitudes about prevention and screening.
We will examine how well YHS predicts cancer risk among participants in two large ongoing studies, the Nurses’ Health Study and the Health Professionals’ Follow-up Study (HPFS), which began in 1976 and 1986, respectively. Participants in both of these studies completed an initial mailed questionnaire about their risk factors, and they have completed follow-up questionnaires every two years since then to update this information and to report whether they have developed cancer or other diseases. Based on their risk factors at the beginning of the study, we will calculate their predicted risk of colon, lung, breast (women only) and prostate cancers (men only) using YHS. We will then see how strongly their predicted risk of each cancer from YHS is related to their observed risk of developing cancer over the next 10 years. We also have conducted a study in two primary care practices in which approximately 1000 patients have completed YHS on a laptop computer before their annual visit with their doctor. We plan to mail a detailed follow-up survey to these patients to assess their satisfaction with YHS, their discussion of lifestyle factors and family history during the visit, their perceptions of their cancer risk, their knowledge about risk factors for cancer, and their attitudes about prevention and screening. We will mail the same follow-up survey to 1000 patients who had annual visits at other primary care practices during the same time period, but did not complete YHS. We will then compare responses between these two groups of patients.