Evaluating implementation of a community-focused patient navigation intervention at an NCI-designated cancer center using RE-AIM

Elizabeth S. Ver Hoeve, Elizabeth Calhoun, Monica Hernandez, Elizabeth High, Julie S. Armin, Leila Ali-Akbarian, Michael Frithsen, Wendy Andrews, Heidi A. Hamann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Patient navigation is an evidence-based intervention that reduces cancer health disparities by directly addressing the barriers to care for underserved patients with cancer. Variability in design and integration of patient navigation programs within cancer care settings has limited this intervention’s utility. The implementation science evaluation framework, RE-AIM, allows quantitative and qualitative examination of effective implementation of patient navigation programs into cancer care settings. Methods: The Reach, Effectiveness, Adoption, Implementation, and Maintenance (RE-AIM) framework was used to evaluate implementation of a community-focused patient navigation intervention at an NCI-designated cancer center between June 2018 and October 2021. Using a 3-month longitudinal, non-comparative measurement period, univariate and bivariate analyses were conducted to examine associations between participant-level demographics and primary (i.e., barrier reduction) and secondary (i.e., patient-reported outcomes) effectiveness outcomes. Mixed methods analyses were used to examine adoption and delivery of the intervention into the cancer center setting. Process-level analyses were used to evaluate maintenance of the intervention. Results: Participants (n = 311) represented a largely underserved population, as defined by the National Cancer Institute, with the majority identifying as Hispanic/Latino, having a household income of $35,000 or less, and being enrolled in Medicaid. Participants were diagnosed with a variety of cancer types and most had advanced staged cancers. Pre-post-intervention analyses indicated significant reduction from pre-intervention assessments in the average number of reported barriers, F(1, 207) = 117.62, p <.001, as well as significant increases in patient-reported physical health, t(205) = − 6.004, p <.001, mental health, t(205) = − 3.810, p <.001, self-efficacy, t(205) = − 5.321, p <.001, and satisfaction with medical team communication, t(206) = − 2.03, p =.029. Referral patterns and qualitative data supported increased adoption and integration of the intervention into the target setting, and consistent intervention delivery metrics suggested high fidelity to intervention delivery over time. Process-level data outlined a successful transition from a grant-funded community-focused patient navigation intervention to an institution-funded program. Conclusions: This study utilized the implementation science evaluation framework, RE-AIM, to evaluate implementation of a community-focused patient navigation program. Our analyses indicate successful implementation within a cancer care setting and provide a potential guide for other oncology settings who may be interested in implementing community-focused patient navigation programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number550
JournalBMC Health Services Research
Volume24
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2024

Keywords

  • Cancer care coordination
  • Community-focused patient navigation
  • Implementation science
  • RE-AIM
  • Supportive care interventions
  • Sustainability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy

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