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Assessment of Patient Navigation Efforts for Breast Cancer in the United States: A Scoping Review of the Literature

Hershberger, Gretchen Anne (2021) Assessment of Patient Navigation Efforts for Breast Cancer in the United States: A Scoping Review of the Literature. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Background. Breast cancer is the second-most common cancer in women, after skin cancers, and women in the United States have a 1 in 8 chance of receiving a breast cancer diagnosis across their lifetime (American Cancer Society, n.d.). Non-Hispanic White and Black women are more likely to be diagnosed or die from breast cancer than any other racial/ethnic group. A patient navigator’s job is to eliminate barriers that patients and their immediate families face as they access care. Additionally, patient navigators play a significant role when it comes to addressing health disparities and outcomes among different populations, such as racial and ethnic minorities, different community types, and those with limited access to healthcare and other services (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2017). This thesis will describe the state of current patient navigation efforts, their role in reinforcing or alleviating disparities in breast cancer treatment and outcomes, and disparities of access to use of navigators in the United States.

Methods. A scoping review of systematic reviews of the literature was performed, using the Ovid Medline database and search terms relating to “patient navigation,” “breast cancer,” and “systematic review.” A total of seven peer-reviewed systematic reviews were used for analysis.

Results. These reviews found that patient navigation programs help patients by reducing the time between abnormal cancer screening results and diagnostic resolution, navigating the healthcare system throughout treatment needs, initiating treatment sooner, receiving the best treatment for the patient, and improving quality of life for patients. The patients that experienced better outcomes from the programs were minority and underserved women, due to access (medical facilities and providers), financial (socioeconomic status and insurance status), and racial/ethnic inequities (Yedjou, 2019).


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Hershberger, Gretchen Annegah56@pitt.edugah56
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Thesis AdvisorFelter, Elizabethemfelter@pitt.eduemfelter
Committee MemberSalter, Cynthiacys6@pitt.educys6
Committee MemberSabik, Lindsaylsabik@pitt.edulsabik
Date: 27 August 2021
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 21 July 2021
Approval Date: 27 August 2021
Submission Date: 13 August 2021
Access Restriction: 2 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 2 years.
Number of Pages: 53
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Behavioral and Community Health Sciences
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: patient navigation, breast cancer, health equity, access to care
Date Deposited: 27 Aug 2021 19:50
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2023 05:15


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