Conflict of interest disclosures: none.
Other topics in cancer
Navigating the cancer journey: A review of patient navigator programs for Indigenous cancer patients
Article first published online: 15 MAY 2012
© 2012 Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd
Asia-Pacific Journal of Clinical Oncology
Volume 8, Issue 4, pages e89–e96, December 2012
How to Cite
WHOP, L. J., VALERY, P. C., BEESLEY, V. L., MOORE, S. P., LOKUGE, K., JACKA, C. and GARVEY, G. (2012), Navigating the cancer journey: A review of patient navigator programs for Indigenous cancer patients. Asia-Pacific Journal of Clinical Oncology, 8: e89–e96. doi: 10.1111/j.1743-7563.2012.01532.x
- Issue published online: 27 NOV 2012
- Article first published online: 15 MAY 2012
- Accepted for publication 20 January 2012.
- cancer care;
- patient navigator
Patient navigator programs have evolved to facilitate access to care and improve outcomes for Indigenous cancer patients. We reviewed the scientific literature on patient navigator programs in Indigenous people with cancer. We conducted a review of the published literature up to 13 April 2011. PubMed, MEDLINE and CINAHL databases were searched for original articles on Indigenous patient navigation programs. The review produced eight relevant articles covering two specific programs, the Native Sisters Program and the Walking Forward Program. Program descriptions, patient navigator's roles, cultural aspects and the impact of the programs were described. Patient navigators' roles in the programs varied, as did their qualifications, but importantly, all were Indigenous. Both programs aimed to increase participation in screening, remove barriers to treatment and decrease mortality. The Native Sisters Program documented an increase in adherence to breast screening among navigated American Indian participants, although there were substantial differences in the baseline screening adherence between navigated and non-navigated participants. The Walking Forward Program yielded on average 3 fewer days of treatment delays for navigated American Indians than for non-navigated American Indians. However, adjustments for socioeconomic characteristics and disease characteristics were not described. Although preliminary outcomes are seemingly positive, further rigorous evaluation of quantitative impacts are needed.