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Helping Men Find Their Way: Improving Prostate Cancer Clinic Attendance via Patient Navigation.

Navigation programs aim to help patients overcome barriers to cancer diagnosis and treatment. Missed clinic appointments have undesirable effects on the patient, health system, and society, and treatment delays have been shown to result in inferior surgical cure rates for men with prostate cancer (CaP). We sought to measure the impact of patient navigation on CaP clinic adherence. Patient navigators contacted patients prior to their first encounter for known or suspected CaP between 7/1/2016 and 6/30/2017. Encounters from 7/1/2014 to 6/30/2015 were used as a historical control. Patient-variables were analyzed including age, health insurance status, home address, zip code, race, ethnicity, and referring primary care clinic. Encounter-level variables included diagnosis (categorized as known or suspected CaP), date of appointment, type of appointment [new vs. return], and provider. The associations between several factors including navigation contact and these variables with missed appointment were analyzed using generalized linear mixed effects multivariate logistic regression. A total of 2854 scheduled clinic encounters from 986 unique patients were analyzed. Patient navigation resulted in a lower missed appointment rate (8.8% vs. 13.9%, OR = 0.64, IQR 0.44–0.93, p = 0.02 on multivariable analysis). Lack of health insurance (OR = 13.18 [5.13–33.83]), suspected but not confirmed CaP diagnosis (OR = 7.44 [4.85–11.42]), and Black (1.97 [1.06–3.65]) or Hispanic (OR = 3.61 [1.42–9.16]) race, were associated with missed appointment. Implementation of patient navigation reduced missed appointment rates for CaP related ambulatory encounters. Identifying risk factors for missed appointment may aid in targeting navigation services to those most likely to benefit from this intervention. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
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