219916 An evaluation of the Avon Foundation community education and outreach initiative (CEOI) patient navigation program

Monday, November 8, 2010

Dana Allen, BS , Department of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education, Emory University, Atlanta, GA
Kimberly Arriola, PhD, MPH , Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, GA
Winifred Wilkins Thompson, PhD, MSW , Department of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education Rollins School of Public Health, Rollins School of Public Health of Emory University, Atlanta, GA
Tamara Mason, MPH, CHES , Behavioral Sciences & Health Education, Emory University, Atlanta, GA
Introduction: Black women are less likely to survive the five years following breast cancer diagnosis than White women. This phenomenon may be due to delays in diagnosis, delays in the initiation of treatment, differences in treatment recommendations, and barriers to the completion of treatment. One strategy to improve treatment adherence for underserved women and Black women is patient navigation. Patient Navigators (PNs) provide patients with educational materials regarding diagnosis and treatment; conduct appointment reminder calls; attend scheduled patient appointments to assist in asking appropriate questions of health providers; link patients to community resources; and provide mental/emotional support during and after appointments and surgery. This study presents an exploratory evaluation of the Avon Foundation Comprehensive Breast Center CEOI Patient Navigation Program. Endpoints assessed consist of use of radiotherapy and self-reported quality of life and social support. Methods: Participants underwent a baseline structured interview, six months of patient navigation care, then a follow-up interview following treatment. Data on radiotherapy were extracted from medical charts. Results: A significantly larger proportion of participants underwent radiotherapy as compared to Black female breast cancer patients residing in the same area six years prior, p < .01. Participants reported significant increases in total quality of life (p < .01), social/family well-being (p < .001), and emotional well-being (p < .01) from baseline to follow-up. Conclusion: Patient navigation offers a promising strategy for addressing barriers to obtaining breast cancer care. Future research is needed to explore the mechanisms through which patient navigation may impact patients' health and well-being.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Chronic disease management and prevention
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Other professions or practice related to public health

Learning Objectives:
1. Define a patient navigation program at a large urban health system. 2. Identify factors that contribute to successful completion of radiotherapy treatment. 3. Describe factors that contribute to improved quality of life for patients that participate in the patient navigation program.

Keywords: Breast Cancer, Women's Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to be an abstract Author on the content I am responsible for because I coordinate a breast cancer education and outreach program that serves underserved women in the Atlanta, GA area.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.