Study defines roles and responsibilities of patient navigators

New research out of the George Washington University Cancer Institute (GWCI) defines the roles and responsibilities of patient navigators. With the rapid growth of patient navigation, the paper seeks to develop a framework to describe similarities and differences across navigators and clarify their place in the health care system, leading to greater standardization of the profession. The paper, titled "Development of a framework for patient navigation: delineating roles across navigator types," was published in the Journal of Oncology Navigation and Survivorship on Dec. 23.

Patient navigation, which includes community workers and clinically licensed navigators such as nurses and social work navigators, has begun to play a critical role in the continuum of care.

"This is the first step in creating consensus-based competencies for non-clinically licensed patient navigators," said Mandi Pratt-Chapman, M.A., associate director at GWCI and principal investigator for the project. "The initial was made possible by support from the Avon Foundation for Women. With new support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, we will establish a free, competency-based training in the year ahead to benefit the field nationally."

The consensus-based framework was coordinated by staff at GWCI with contributors from the Association of Community Cancer Centers, the National Association of Social Workers, the Association of Oncology Social Work, the Oncology Nursing Society, the Academy of Oncology Nurse Navigators, Capital City Area Health Education Center, Nueva Vida, City of Hope, Moffitt Cancer Center, the University of South Florida and MAC, Inc.

Lead author, Anne Willis, M.A., director of the division of cancer survivorship at GWCI, housed within the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences, led the development of the framework that includes 12 functional area domains and indicates areas of commonality and distinction among community health workers, patient navigators, and clinically licensed navigators. Elizabeth Reed, M.P.A., project manager for professional education at GWCI, also coordinated on the project.

Related Stories

Nurse navigators help cancer patients cope early in care

date Nov 25, 2013

When Group Health patients received support from a nurse navigator, or advocate, soon after a cancer diagnosis, they had better experiences and fewer problems with their care—particularly in health information, care coordination, ...

Saving fertility not priority at most cancer centers

date Dec 19, 2013

Infertility is consistently listed as one of the most distressing long-term side effects of cancer treatment for adolescents and young adults. Yet the leading National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer centers—which ...

Recommended for you

Spicy treatment the answer to aggressive cancer?

date Jul 03, 2015

It has been treasured by food lovers for thousands of years for its rich golden colour, peppery flavour and mustardy aroma…and now turmeric may also have a role in fighting cancer.

Cancer survivors who smoke perceive less risk from tobacco

date Jul 02, 2015

Cancer survivors who smoke report fewer negative opinions about smoking, have more barriers to quitting, and are around other smokers more often than survivors who had quit before or after their diagnosis, according to a ...

Melanoma mutation rewires cell metabolism

date Jul 02, 2015

A mutation found in most melanomas rewires cancer cells' metabolism, making them dependent on a ketogenesis enzyme, researchers at Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University have discovered.

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.