Metrics for evaluating patient navigation during cancer diagnosis and treatment§

Crafting a policy-relevant research agenda for patient navigation in cancer care

Authors

  • B. Ashleigh Guadagnolo MD, MPH,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Radiation Oncology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas
    • Division of Radiation Oncology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Boulevard, Unit 97, Houston, TX 77030
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    • Fax: (713) 563-2331

  • Daniel Dohan PhD,

    1. Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies, University of California, San Francisco, California
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  • Peter Raich MD

    1. Division of Hematology/Oncology, Denver Health and Hospitals, University of Colorado Denver, Denver, Colorado
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  • The articles in this supplement are based on presentations at the “National Patient Navigator Leadership Summit”; March 23-24, 2010; Atlanta, GA.

  • The opinions or views expressed in this supplement are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or recommendations of the publisher, the editors, the University of Illinois at Chicago, the American Cancer Society, or the Ralph Lauren Center for Cancer Care and Prevention.

  • §

    National Patient Navigator Leadership Summit (NPNLS): Measuring the Impact and Potential of Patient Navigation, Supplement to Cancer.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Racial and ethnic minorities as well as other vulnerable populations experience disparate cancer-related health outcomes. Patient navigation is an emerging health care delivery innovation that offers promise in improving quality of cancer care delivery to these patients who experience unique health-access barriers. Metrics are needed to evaluate whether patient navigation can improve quality of care delivery, health outcomes, and overall value in health care during diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

METHODS:

Information regarding the current state of the science examining patient navigation interventions was gathered via search of the published scientific literature. A focus group of providers, patient navigators, and health-policy experts was convened as part of the Patient Navigation Leadership Summit sponsored by the American Cancer Society. Key metrics were identified for assessing the efficacy of patient navigation in cancer diagnosis and treatment.

RESULTS:

Patient navigation data exist for all stages of cancer care; however, the literature is more robust for its implementation during prevention, screening, and early diagnostic workup of cancer. Relatively fewer data are reported for outcomes and efficacy of patient navigation during cancer treatment. Metrics are proposed for a policy-relevant research agenda to evaluate the efficacy of patient navigation in cancer diagnosis and treatment.

CONCLUSIONS:

Patient navigation is understudied with respect to its use in cancer diagnosis and treatment. Core metrics are defined to evaluate its efficacy in improving outcomes and mitigating health-access barriers. Cancer 2011;117(15 suppl):3563–572. © 2011 American Cancer Society.

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