Acceptance of a Community-based Navigator Program for Cancer Control among Urban African Americans

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Patient navigation is now a standard component of cancer care in many oncology facilities, but a fundamental question for navigator programs, especially in medically underserved populations, is whether or not individuals will use this service. In this study, we evaluated acceptance of a community-based navigator program for cancer control and identified factors having significant independent associations with navigation acceptance in an urban sample of African Americans. Participants were African American men and women ages 50–75 who were residents in an urban metropolitan city who were referred for navigation. Of 240 participants, 76% completed navigation. Age and perceived risk of developing cancer had a significant independent association with navigation acceptance. Participants who believed that they were at high risk for developing cancer had a lower likelihood of completing navigation compared with those who believed that they had a low risk for developing this disease. The likelihood of completing navigation increased with increases in age. None of the socioeconomic factors or health care variables had a significant association with navigation acceptance. There are few barriers to using community-based navigation for cancer control among urban African Americans. Continued efforts are needed to develop and implement community-based programs for cancer control that are easy to use and address the needs of medically underserved populations.