A Community-Based Partnership to Successfully Implement and Maintain a Breast Health Navigation Program

Bettina F. Drake, Shivon Tannan, Victoria V. Anwuri, Sherrill Jackson, Mark Sanford, Jennifer Tappenden, Melody S. Goodman, Graham A. Colditz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Breast cancer screening combined with follow-up and treatment reduces breast cancer mortality. However, in the study clinic, only 12 % of eligible women ≥40 years received a mammogram in the previous year. The objective of this project was to implement patient navigation, in our partner health clinic to (1) identify women overdue for a mammogram; and (2) increase mammography utilization in this population over a 2-year period. Women overdue for a mammogram were identified. One patient navigator made navigation attempts over a 2-year period (2009–2011). Navigation included working around systems- and individual-level barriers to receive a mammogram as well as the appropriate follow-up post screening. Women were contacted up to three times to initiate navigation. The proportion of women navigated and who received a mammogram during the study period were compared to women who did not receive a mammogram using Chi square tests for categorical variables and t tests for continuous variables with an α = 0.05. Barriers to previous mammography were also assessed. With 94.8 % of eligible women navigated and 94 % of these women completing mammography, the implementation project reached 89 % of the target population. This project was a successful implementation of an evidence-based patient navigation program that continues to provide significant impact in a high-need area. Cost was the most commonly cite barrier to mammography. Increasing awareness of resources in the community for mammography and follow-up care remains a necessary adjunct to removing structural and financial barriers to accessing preventive services.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1216-1223
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Community Health
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 16 2015


  • Breast cancer
  • Disparities
  • Mammography
  • Patient navigation
  • Screening


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