Patient Navigation Improves Subsequent Breast Cancer Screening After a Noncancerous Result: Evidence from the Patient Navigation in Medically Underserved Areas Study


By bhadmin February 2, 2021

Background: Past efforts to assess patient navigation on cancer screening utilization have focused on one-time uptake, which may not be sufficient in the long term. This is partially due to limited resources for in-person, longitudinal patient navigation. We examine the effectiveness of a low-intensity phone- and mail-based navigation on multiple screening episodes with a focus on screening uptake after receiving noncancerous results during a previous screening episode. Methods: The is a secondary analysis of patients who participated in a randomized controlled patient navigation trial in Chicago. Participants include women referred for a screening mammogram, aged 50–74 years, and with a history of benign/normal screening results. Navigation services focused on identification of barriers and intervention via shared decision-making processes. A multivariable logistic regression intent-to-treat model was used to examine differences in odds of obtaining a screening mammogram within 2 years of the initial mammogram (yes/no) between navigated and non-navigated women. Sensitivity analyses were conducted to explore patterns across subsets of participants (e.g., navigated women successfully contacted before the initial appointment; women receiving care at Hospital C). Results: The final sample included 2,536 women (741 navigated, 1,795 non-navigated). Navigated women exhibited greater odds of obtaining subsequent screenings relative to women in the standard care group in adjusted models and analyses including women who received navigation before the initial appointment. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that low-intensity navigation services can improve follow-up screening among women who receive a noncancerous result. Further investigation is needed to confirm navigation’s impacts on longitudinal screening.

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