Patient Navigation in Breast Cancer: A Systematic Review

Stephanie Robinson-White, MD; Brenna Conroy, BS; Kathleen H. Slavish, BA; Margaret Rosenzweig, PhD, APN-BC, AOCNP


Cancer Nurs. 2010;33(2):127-140. 

In This Article

Design and Methods


This is a descriptive study of published research evaluating the efficacy of breast cancer navigators and navigation in breast cancer across all aspects of the disease trajectory. Published articles were reviewed if included in the scientific literature between January 1990 and April 2009. Literature search was conducted using PubMed and Ovid databases. Search terms, individually and in combination included MeSH (Medical Subject Headings) terms, "patient navigator," "breast cancer," "medically underserved," and "adherence." The literature search was conducted independently by 2 authors for results verification. When reviewing each navigational intervention study, Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT) guidelines were followed to ensure an accurate and critical appraisal of the design, conduct, and analysis of each research study. The CONSORT encompasses various initiatives developed by the Consort Group to alleviate the problems of reporting of randomized controlled trials.[31] The CONSORT checklist items focus on reporting how the trial was designed, analyzed, and interpreted.[31] Table 2 was created following CONSORT guidelines and describes the setting, intervention characteristics, study design, sample, goal, results, conclusions, and limitations (Table 2).[32–43]

Inclusion Criteria

If a published article was identified under the approved headings, a determination of the content of the article was made through a review of the published abstract. For an article to meet inclusion criteria, the article had to (1) be data based and (2) include measured efficacy of navigation for women with breast cancer at any stage of the disease continuum. Community education efforts were not included.


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