Patient navigators focus coordinating high quality oncology care for underserved patients. Navigators seek to remove barriers that specifically effect racial-ethnic minorities or poor patients. Now, a study has shown that satisfaction with navigators appears to be significantly associated with satisfaction with cancer-related care. The findings were published in the journal Cancer.1

For the study, researchers sought to examine the relationship between satisfaction with navigators and cancer-related care. Investigators analyzed data from 1345 patients with abnormal cancer screening tests or a definitive cancer diagnosis who participated in the Patient Navigation Research Program.

Participants completed demographic questionnaires and surveys that measured patient satisfaction with cancer-related care and patient satisfaction with the interpersonal relationship with their navigator.

Results showed a statistically significant relationship between patient satisfaction with cancer-related care and patient satisfaction with the navigator among patients with abnormal cancer screening tests (P < .001). There was also a significant association between these factors  for patients with a definitive cancer diagnosis (P < .001).

In addition, researchers found that having an abnormal colorectal cancer screening test in particular was associated with a higher satisfaction with cancer care (P < .01). Increased age and being a minority in the cancer diagnosis group were also linked with a higher satisfaction (P < .01).

The findings suggest that information regarding the patient-navigator relationship should be integrated into patient navigation programs in order to reduce disparities and mortality for minorities and the poor that are medically underserved.

Reference

1. Jean-Pierre P, Cheng Y, Wells KJ, et al. Satisfaction with cancer care among underserved racial-ethnic minorities and lower-income patients receiving patient navigation [published online ahead of print February 5, 2016]. Cancer. doi: 10.1002/cncr.29902.