Implementing and measuring the impact of patient navigation at a comprehensive community cancer center

Oncol Nurs Forum. 2010 Jan;37(1):61-8. doi: 10.1188/10.ONF.61-68.


Purpose/objectives: To determine whether patient navigation in a comprehensive community cancer center affects patient and staff perceptions of patient preparation for treatment, access to care, and overall satisfaction.

Design: Program evaluation with patient and staff surveys.

Setting: Comprehensive community cancer center accredited by the American College of Surgeons in the southeastern United States with 1,037 analytic cases of cancer in 2007; population of the main county served is about 177,963.

Sample: 48 patients (28 navigator and 20 non-navigator) and 26 employees, including physicians, nurses, and other support staff.

Methods: A 10-item survey with Likert scale format was sent to a stratified sample of 100 newly diagnosed patients with cancer. A five-item survey with the same format was sent to 40 staff working with the patients.

Main research variable: Patient navigation.

Findings: Patients who received navigation services responded more positively to survey statements. Statistical significance (p > 0.05) was identified in 7 of 10 statements when patient groups were compared. Provider responses indicated agreement with all five statements included in the survey.

Conclusions: Patients with cancer and oncology staff reported that patient navigation is effective in increasing patient satisfaction and decreasing barriers to care.

Implications for nursing: Patient navigation is an emerging trend in cancer care. Patient navigators can play a significant role in assisting patients with coordinating services across the continuum of care. Continued research is essential in refining the role and eminence of patient navigators.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Cancer Care Facilities
  • Case Management / organization & administration*
  • Comprehensive Health Care
  • Continuity of Patient Care / organization & administration*
  • Female
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Hospitals, Community
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms* / nursing
  • Neoplasms* / psychology
  • Nurse's Role / psychology
  • Nursing Evaluation Research
  • Oncology Nursing / organization & administration*
  • Patient Satisfaction*
  • Program Development
  • Program Evaluation
  • Social Support
  • Southeastern United States
  • Surveys and Questionnaires