This session presented the types of research and evaluation projects, grant proposals, and publishing opportunities available for patient navigators. Navigation programs provide the opportunity to develop evaluation measures—these should be defined so that specific changes in the target patient population can be determined in a specific time frame with clearly defined and realistic objectives. As an example, an objective could be to offer patient navigation services to a given percentage of patients with lung cancer during the next fiscal year. This includes a time frame, criterion, target population, and action.
Good proposals should include the following types of objectives:
- Process—daily tasks, activities, work plans, eg, obtaining materials and distributing them
- Impact—what has happened at the end of the program, eg, behavior change not a change in morbidity or mortality
- Outcome—long-term changes, eg, smoking cessation or decrease in incidence of lung cancer
Various research designs, types of research methods and evidence, and nonresearch evidence were reviewed. These principles were discussed in the context of collecting data on and evaluation of navigation programs as well as research related to patient navigation. Case examples from Fox Chase Cancer Center Partners Program were presented. Note that a poster from this program won in its category at the meeting.
Planning for grant proposals, the essential components of a grant, and grant writing tips were presented, and resources were listed, including the Oncology Nursing Society, American Cancer Society, National Institutes of Health, and the National Cancer Institute. The speakers recommended ways to prepare for publishing, including starting small, and knowing the publication and its requirements.
Journals that have published navigation research include the following:
- Journal of Oncology Navigation & Survivorship
- Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing
- Oncology Nursing Forum
AONN+ also provides publishing opportunities such as blogging, short articles on navigation programs, and abstracts at this meeting.