Skip to main content

Table 5 Reported outcomes of patient navigation programs

From: Implementation and maintenance of patient navigation programs linking primary care with community-based health and social services: a scoping literature review

Outcomes Citations
Patient and caregiver outcomes
Positive Outcomes
 Improvements in general health and wellness
  • Reduced unmet needs [38, 44]
  • Improved quality of life [23, 44]
  • Improved mental health [33]
  • Improved activities of daily living [33]
  • Reduced co-morbidities [23]
  • Improved understanding of patients’ health conditions and their management [35, 43]
  • Decreased worries, concerns and stress [23, 44]
  • Reduced caregiver strain or depressive symptoms [41, 42]
  • Improved biomarkers for chronic disease (e.g., HbA1c; fewer HIV clients with a detectable viral load [29, 44]
 Improved self-efficacy, self-management or empowerment [23, 30, 38, 46, 51].
 Increased patient satisfaction regarding services for themselves or their children [23, 30, 38, 46, 51].
 Increased access to care:
  • Care overall (i.e., increase in number of patients seen) [22]
  • A primary care medical home [23, 51]
  • Timely primary care [38];
  • Medications [43]
  • More access to culturally appropriate care [23, 37, 49]
  • Specialty or sub-specialty care (for children; for AIDS/HIV patients) [44, 51]
 Better follow up and uptake of screening:
  • Reduced missed medical appointments [43]
  • For legal counsel [47]
  • Increased patient encounters and communication with primary care [8, 23, 33, 44, 46]
  • More mammography or cancer screening according to guidelines [23, 31]
 Financial, employment, and health claims addressed
  • Increased employment and reduced financial stresses [33]
  • Reduced numbers of mental health patients who applied for disability benefits, with significantly higher behavioural health claims [33]
  • Proportion of patients suffering from mental illness who become insured [23]
  • Patients connected to legal services reported positive impacts on finances and compliance with medical appointments and treatment [47]
  • More affordable services for working poor [35]
Neutral or negative outcomes
 Discomfort with male navigators for female breast cancer care, lack of care continuity and poor navigator follow up [36]
 No differences in employment, hours worked or earnings [38]
Provider outcomes
 Satisfaction with navigation programs [30, 41, 46]
 Increased communication among primary care providers and community services or providers [8, 46, 54, 55]
 Increased knowledge and skills [47, 48]
 Increased trust between  
  • Navigators and physicians [41]
  • Patients and their attorneys [47]
 Improved care coordination [47, 55]
 Navigators empowered in their community advocacy role and were promoted in their positions [30, 37]
Health system outcomes
 Reduction in emergency room and/or hospital use [28, 29, 43, 45]
 Prevention of premature institutionalization [52]