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Patient Navigators and Family Advisors

  • By: Lisa Murray-Johnson & Sharon Cross
  • In: Encyclopedia of Health Communication
  • Edited by: Teresa L. Thompson
  • Subject:Public Health Education & Health Promotion, Health Psychology, Health Communication

Patient navigation serves as a strategy to help patients navigate the complex health care system from the initial access point of care through treatment and care management. Initially conceived as a mechanism to reduce health care disparities and provide a patient-centered model of care for cancer, navigation programs have been greatly expanded to all areas of health care in recent years.

Patient navigation can take several forms, from specific case managers, nurses, social workers, or specially trained volunteers who are assigned to coordinate individual patient care, to specific offices within a health care system that specialize in the patient experience. Family patient advisors (FPAs), one particular form of navigation, is a different form of engagement that makes visible the role of the patient and family and ...

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