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Emory professor to launch pilot project to study colon cancer in Asian American women
Eun-Ok Im

The Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University has awarded its pilot project for A Technology-Based Colorectal Cancer Information Coaching/Support Program for Asian American Women to Eun-Ok Im, PhD, MPH, RN, CNS, FAAN, a professor with Emory University's Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing. The Winship Cancer Institute provides funding for one year of $50,000 towards a pilot project to help Dr. Im establish a new research team as a relatively new faculty at Emory University.

Colorectal cancer is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer among Asian Americans and is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths. While the incidence rate of colorectal cancer is similar in Asian Americans and non-Hispanic whites, survival rates are meager in many Asian subpopulations. Furthermore, Asian American women who are colorectal cancer survivors (AWC) rarely complain about their symptoms, delay seeking help until symptoms become severe, and seldom ask or get support due to their cultural values, beliefs, and language barriers. Especially, AWC tends to suffer more than Asian American men due to their patriarchal culture (e.g., gender roles, stigma, changes in body image). 

The purpose of the research pilot project is to preliminarily evaluate a technology-based colorectal cancer information coaching/support program for Asian American women (TCOLA) in enhancing the women's survivorship experience. Phase 1 includes a usability test and an expert review among 5 AWC and five experts in oncology. Phase 2 adopts a randomized repeated measures pretest/posttest control group design among 30 AWC. If TCOLA proves effective, it can fill the gap in existing programs and fundamentally enhance the methodology/paradigm related to culturally tailored technology-based programs to improve cancer survivorship experience among racial/ethnic minorities. 

Eun-Ok Im is a tenured Professor and is currently the Senior Associate Dean for Research and Innovation and Edith Folsom Honeycutt Endowed Chair at the School of Nursing. Dr. Im's contributions to nursing science and women's health, and oncology nursing, in particular, have been profound and groundbreaking. She has developed and tested novel interventions to promote health, explicate complex symptoms, and illuminate cultural and ethnic differences.

For more information on Dr. Eun-Ok Im, visit her faculty profile. Visit the National Institute of Health website to learn more about the Cancer Center Support Grants (CCSGs) for NCI-designated Cancer Centers (P30).

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