BOZEMAN, Mont. - The Women to Women Project, a support network for rural women with chronic illness, is seeking women to participate in a study group forming in the fall of 2007 and again in January of 2008.

The College of Nursing at Montana State University is in its 11th year of this program, which enhances rural women's ability to manage their chronic condition and assesses its effect on their quality of life.

To qualify for participation, women must be physically able to use a computer and have a basic knowledge of how to use a computer, but owning a computer is not necessary.

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

Women in the project are assigned to one of two 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. The second group does not use computers but provides important health-related data.

All groups participate in a telephone interview and complete three written mail questionnaires.

 Women who are interested in the project are encouraged to call the program's toll-free number, 1-888-375-1317, at the MSU College of Nursing, Bozeman, Mont., contact the program via e-mail at (scudney@montana.edu).

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