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01.03.2018 | Review Article | Ausgabe 5/2018

Supportive Care in Cancer 5/2018

Effects of patient navigation on satisfaction with cancer care: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Supportive Care in Cancer > Ausgabe 5/2018
Kristen J. Wells, Kevin Campbell, Ambuj Kumar, Tatianna Clark, Pascal Jean-Pierre



Patient navigation (PN) is a model of healthcare coordination designed to reduce barriers to achieving optimal health outcomes. Systematic reviews evaluating whether PN is associated with higher patient satisfaction with cancer care are lacking.


We conducted a systematic review to synthesize evidence of comparative studies evaluating the effectiveness of PN programs to improve satisfaction with cancer-related care. We included studies reported in English that: (1) evaluated a PN intervention designed to increase satisfaction with cancer care; and (2) involved a randomized controlled trial (RCT) or non-RCT approach. Standardized forms were used to abstract data from studies. These data were evaluated for methodological quality, summarized qualitatively, and synthesized under a random effects model.


The initial search yielded 831 citations. Nine met inclusion criteria. Five had adequate data (1 RCT and 4 non-RCTs) to include in the meta-analysis. Methodological quality of included studies ranged from weak to strong, with half rated as weak. Findings of the RCTs showed a statistically significant increase in satisfaction with cancer care involving PN (standardized mean difference (SMD) = 2.30; 95% confidence interval 1.79, 2.80, p < 0.001). Pooled results from non-RCTs showed no significant association between PN and satisfaction with cancer-related care (standardized mean difference = 0.39; 95% confidence interval − 0.02, 0.80, p = 0.06).


Although PN has been widely implemented to improve cancer care, high-quality studies are needed to characterize the relationship between PN and satisfaction with cancer-related care.

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