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Background: Adapting to living with chronic conditions is a life-long psychosocial challenge.

Objective: The purpose of this study was to report the effect of a computer intervention on the psychosocial adaptation of rural women with chronic conditions.

Methods: A two-group study design was used with 309 middle-aged, rural women who had chronic conditions, randomized into either a computer-based intervention or a control group. Data were collected at baseline, at the end of the intervention, and 6 months later on the psychosocial indicators of social support, self-esteem, acceptance of illness, stress, depression, and loneliness.

Results: The impact of the computer-based intervention was statistically significant for five of six of the psychosocial outcomes measured, with a modest impact on social support. The largest benefits were seen in depression, stress, and acceptance.

Discussion: The women-to-women intervention resulted in positive psychosocial responses that have the potential to contribute to successful management of illness and adaptation. Other components of adaptation to be examined are the impact of the intervention on illness management and quality of life and the interrelationships among environmental stimuli, psychosocial response, and illness management.

(C) 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.