Exploring the role of patient navigators in cancer care
Crouch, Courtney Forde
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Approximately half of all men and one-third of all women will be diagnosed with cancer within their lifetime (American Cancer Society, 2013). Even though this diagnosis is quite common, the journey one embarks upon when a cancer diagnosis is made is all but simple. Patient navigation programs have been developed to assist patients in coping with diagnosis, understanding their prognosis and the options available to them, completing their recommended treatments, and to provide emotional support and reduce barriers to care (Yosha, et al., 2011). This integrative review set out to determine the impact that patient navigators have on the outcomes of cancer care. Precisely, patient satisfaction levels and compliance with recommended treatments were addressed. After an extensive electronic search that elicited nearly 600 articles, 31 articles were read in their entirety. Ultimately, eight articles fit the inclusion and exclusion criteria for this integrative review. Of the five articles that addressed patient satisfaction, four reported increased satisfaction levels. Of the four articles that evaluated compliance, navigation was found to facilitate compliance in each study.