Evaluation of Patient Needs and Patient Navigator Communication About Cervical Cancer Prevention in Appalachian Kentucky


Corresponding author: Elisia L. Cohen; e-mail: elisia.cohen@uky.edu


Few studies describe the way patient navigation processes may address disparities in treatment and follow-up care for medically underserved populations. Using a social ecological framework, we analyzed survey assessments of 519 patients completing a randomized navigation trial in Appalachia Kentucky to examine patient-reported barriers to follow-up cervical cancer care. We also analyzed in-depth interview transcripts with 4 lay patient navigators in the trial to identify additional barriers to follow-up care and to learn what communication strategies navigators use to successfully (or unsuccessfully) help patients navigate around those barriers. Our analysis provides insight into how patient navigation may improve adherence to follow-up care through assisted uncertainty management. We also discuss opportunities for improving navigator training to address disparities in clinical outcomes.