Purpose: To describe how distance to treatment location influences patient navigation preferences for adolescent and young adult (AYA) cancer patients and survivors. Methods: This study is part of a statewide needs assessment to inform the development of an AYA cancer patient and survivor navigation program. Participants were recruited from outpatient oncology clinics in Utah. Eligible participants had been diagnosed with cancer between ages 15-39 and had completed at least 1 month of treatment. Participants completed a semi-structured interview on preferences for patient navigation. Summary statistics of demographic and cancer characteristics were generated. Thematic content analysis was used to describe navigation preferences among participants classified as distance (≥20 miles) and local (<20 miles), to explain differences in their needs based on distance from their treatment center. Results: The top three patient navigation needs were general information, financial, and emotional support. More local patients were interested in patient navigation services (95.2%) compared to distance participants (77.8%). Fewer local (38.1%) than distance participants (61.1%) reported challenges getting to appointments, and distance patients needed specific financial support to support their travel (e.g., fuel, lodging). Both local and distance patients desired to connect with a navigator in person before using another form of communication and wanted to connect with a patient navigator at the time of initial diagnosis. Conclusion: Distance from treatment center is an important patient navigation consideration for AYA cancer patients and survivors. After initially connecting with AYAs in person, patient navigators can provide resources remotely to help reduce travel burden.
- Patient navigation
- supportive care
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health