Online Program

Core Competencies for Oncology Patient Navigators

Monday, November 2, 2015

Mandi Pratt-Chapman, MA, The George Washington University Cancer Institute, George Washington University, Washington, DC
Anne Willis, MA, The George Washington University Cancer Institute, The George Washington University, Washington, DC
Leah Masselink, PhD, Milken Institute School of Public Health, The George Washington University, Washington, DC
Purpose:  The research team sought to create consensus-based core competencies for cancer patient navigators to provide role clarity and standardization.

Methods: This study used mixed methods, including a literature review, focus groups and a national survey. A functional framework was developed involving consensus of an 18-person leadership group. Researchers conducted focus groups with 21 navigators in diverse settings to identify knowledge, skills, abilities and roles. Competency statements were drafted to align with the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) common taxonomy for health care professional competencies and presented to 22 experts for feedback. A 272-question survey assessed each competency for extent to which it was an essential function, clearly written and endorsed.

Results:  Twelve functional themes were used to develop 72 draft competency statements. Competencies that were perceived by the leadership group as clinical were eliminated leaving 65 statements across 8 AAMC-established domains. Over a 4-week period, 618 individuals consented to participate and 525 were eligible. All statements had a minimum of 81% endorsement. Based on feedback, researchers eliminated competencies for being duplicative (14), setting-specific (3) or confusing (1). Two competencies were combined with other competencies, leaving 45 final competencies.

Conclusions: Core competencies for cancer patient navigators have been developed through input from relevant professional organizations and endorsed by a broad group of national experts and patient navigators. The competencies provide a baseline for assessing skills, knowledge and abilities of patient navigators and clarify the role of non-licensed navigators on the multidisciplinary team.

Learning Areas:

Administration, management, leadership
Other professions or practice related to public health

Learning Objectives:
Describe core competencies for oncology patient navigators who have not obtained a clinical license in social work or nursing.

Keyword(s): Community Health Workers and Promoters, Public Health Administration

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am PI of the project described and have published in peer-reviewed journals on patient navigation implementation, measures, value and competencies.
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.