Address correspondence to Victoria A. Parker, D.B.A., Assistant Professor, Department of Health Policy and Management, Boston University School of Public Health, 715 Albany St. T3W, Boston, MA 02118-2526, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Victoria A. Parker, D.B.A., Assistant Professor, is with the Center for Organization, Leadership and Management Research, VA Boston Healthcare System, Boston, MA. Jack A. Clark, Ph.D., Associate Professor, is with the Center for Health Quality, Outcomes, and Economic Research—VA HSR&D, Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital, Bedford, MA and the Department of Health Policy and Management, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA. Jenniffer Leyson, M.A., Senior Qualitative Data Analyst, is with the Department of Health Policy and Management, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA. Elizabeth Calhoun, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Senior Research Scientist, is with the Division of Health Policy and Administration, University of Illinois School of Public Health, Chicago, IL. Jennifer K. Carroll, M.D., M.P.H., Assistant Professor, is with the Department of Family Medicine and Oncology, University of Rochester Medical Center, Family Medicine Research Programs, Rochester, NY. Karen M. Freund, M.D., M.P.H., Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology, and Tracy A. Battaglia, M.D., M.P.H., Assistant Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology, are with Women's Health Unit, Section of General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine and Women's Health Interdisciplinary Research Center, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA.
Patient Navigation: Development of a Protocol for Describing What Navigators Do
Article first published online: 27 JAN 2010
© Health Research and Educational Trust
Health Services Research
Volume 45, Issue 2, pages 514–531, April 2010
How to Cite
Parker, V. A., Clark, J. A., Leyson, J., Calhoun, E., Carroll, J. K., Freund, K. M. and Battaglia, T. A. (2010), Patient Navigation: Development of a Protocol for Describing What Navigators Do. Health Services Research, 45: 514–531. doi: 10.1111/j.1475-6773.2009.01079.x
- Issue published online: 8 MAR 2010
- Article first published online: 27 JAN 2010
- Continuity of patient care;
- social support;
- health services needs and demands;
- case management;
- patient navigation
Objective. To develop a structured protocol for observing patient navigators at work, describing and characterizing specific activities related to their goals.
Data Sources/Setting. Fourteen extended observations of navigators at three programs within a national trial of patient navigation.
Study Design. Preliminary observations were guided by a conceptual model derived from the literature and expert consensus, then coded to develop and refine observation categories. These findings were then used to develop the protocol.
Methods. Observation fieldnotes were coded, using both a priori codes and new codes based on emergent themes. Using these codes, the team refined the model and constructed an observation tool that enables consistent categorization of the observed range of navigator actions.
Findings. Navigator actions across a wide variety of settings can be categorized in a matrix with two dimensions. One dimension categorizes the individuals and organizational entities with whom the navigator interacts; the other characterizes the types of tasks carried out by the navigators in support of their patients.
Conclusions. Use of this protocol will enable researchers to systematically characterize and compare navigator activities within and across programs.