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Wayne State SLIS Assistant Professor part of team awarded a $1.8 million grant

Dr. Deborah Charbonneau, Wayne State University SLIS Assistant Professor

Dr. Deborah Charbonneau, Wayne State University SLIS Assistant Professor

Wayne State University School of Library and Information Science Assistant Professor Deborah Charbonneau is part of a team recently awarded a $1.8 million grant from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) to improve access to cancer survivor resources. The research team, led by Dr. Hayley Thompson at the Karmanos Cancer Institute and Wayne State University School of Medicine, will study eHealth activities among cancer survivors with the goal of improving survivorship planning and care. Dr. Charbonneau serves as a Co-Investigator for the research grant. Other members of the research team include: Tara Eaton, Ph.D.; Judith Abrams, Ph.D.; Jennifer Beebe-Dimmer, Ph.D.; Elisabeth Heath, M.D.; and Ke Zhang, Ph.D.

The grant will study how Internet-based and mobile technologies are used by cancer survivors once their treatment has ended. The study will also compare how African American and White cancer survivors access health resources electronically and the impact that has on their cancer survivorship. According to Dr. Charbonneau, “we are interested in how cancer survivors may use digital health technologies to aid in their transition from active treatment to survivorship planning and follow-up care. This project will provide insight into the role of digital health tools in the overall personal health information management strategies among survivors. In addition, the results of this research endeavor will inform the user-centered design of digital tools optimized for survivors and potentially address survivorship disparities.”

Interviews will be conducted with a sample of approximately 1,230 African American and White breast, prostate, and colorectal cancer survivors from the metropolitan Detroit area to assess general health activity, as well as specific health activities, such as searching the Internet for health information, purchasing medication online or emailing one’s physician. There will also be a select subsample of 144 participants who will receive in-home visits from the study team to observe personal health information management in the home and examine the role of technology in the context of health information management. The results will guide the development of a software application prototype focused on cancer survivorship resources that can be accessed digitally.

Dr. Charbonneau currently teaches in the areas of Library Management, Health Informatics, and Research Methods. She previously held positions at the Vera P. Shiffman Medical Library at Wayne State University and the Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library at the University of Utah. She is the recipient of the 2014 Donald A. B. Lindberg Research Fellowship from the Medical Library Association.