Cancer support services outside of clinical settings: An evaluation of LIVESTRONG Foundation’s Cancer Navigation Program
Objectives: The objectives were to evaluate the LIVESTRONG Cancer Navigation Services program, which was developed to address cancer survivors’ psychosocial needs from diagnosis through posttreatment survivorship, and to discuss its implications for the provision of care for survivors occurring outside the clinical setting.<br>Methods: We conducted a longitudinal study to track cancer survivors who received navigation services, surveying participants at intake and at 2 weeks and 6 weeks postintake. We examined changes in (1) the perceived impact of cancer-related concerns; (2) self-efficacy related to getting support and coping with emotional health; and (3) emotional distress, plus the impact of receiving counseling from an emotional support navigator.<br>Results: The most common need among the cancer survivors was for emotional support, followed by insurance, financial, and employment concerns. The numbers and types of needs differed by age at diagnosis, stage in treatment, and other individual characteristics. As a whole, the study participants’ self-efficacy increased over time, and the impact of cancer-related concerns and emotional distress decreased. Survivors referred to an emotional support navigator had increased self-efficacy and reduced emotional distress and concerns about the impact of cancer. Overall, the participants reported high levels of satisfaction with navigation services, which were higher among survivors with more needs, who finished treatment <5 years ago (vs ?5 years ago), and who had more interactions with a navigator.<br>Conclusions: These findings highlight the importance of navigation services throughout the cancer journey and the value of the LIVESTRONG model, which augments community-based and clinic-based services. Because adequate psychosocial care is not available across many oncology care settings, services outside the clinical setting can help meet cancer survivors’ needs.