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Effects of Nurse Navigators on Health Outcomes of Cancer Patients

Lee, Taewha PhD, RN; Ko, Ilsun PhD, RN; Lee, Insook PhD, RN; Kim, Eunhyun MSN, RN; Shin, Mikyong PhD, RN; Roh, Sunghoon MD; Yoon, Dongsup MD; Choi, Seungho MD; Chang, Hangseok MD

doi: 10.1097/NCC.0b013e3182025007
ARTICLES

Background: Care coordination has received increased attention in recent years because it critically affects patient safety and care quality across services and settings.

Objective: The effectiveness of systematically developed nurse navigator interventions for newly diagnosed cancer patients was evaluated.

Methods: Seventy-eight patients participated in a nonequivalent control group pretest-posttest design study. The study design spanned a 3-month period for all participants. Patient outcome measures included quality of life, satisfaction with care, and length of hospital stay.

Results: Participants in the experimental program reported significant increases in several components of quality of life and with satisfaction with care and experienced fewer hospital stay days compared with the control group.

Conclusion: This study provides evidence that standardized nurse navigator programs can improve patient outcomes in cancer care.

Implications for Practice: Positive outcomes of the reduced length of stay and improved quality of life and patient satisfaction may help transform the cancer care delivery model toward more nurse-initiated cost-effective model.

Author Affiliations: Nursing Policy Research Institute, Yonsei University College of Nursing (Drs T. Lee and Ko); Department of Nursing, Jeju Halla College (Dr I. Lee); and Severance Hospital (Ms Kim) Seoul, Korea; Centers for Disease Control, Atlanta, Georgia (Dr Shin); Department of General Surgery, Yonsei University College of Medicine (Dr Roh), and Gangnam Severance Hospital (Drs Yoon, Choi, and Chang), Seoul, Korea.

This study was supported by a grant from the Korea Ministry of Health and Welfare (0520170-1).

The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.

Correspondence: Taewha Lee, PhD, RN, Nursing Policy Research Institute, Yonsei University College of Nursing, CPO Box 8044, Seoul 120-752, Korea (twlee5@yuhs.ac).

Accepted for publication October 9, 2010.

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.