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A core competency framework for prostate cancer peer navigation



Trained peer navigators can offer valuable peer support and mentorship to cancer patients and caregivers due to their highly relevant and unique perspective about the disease experience. In order to define the role of prostate cancer (PC) peer navigators within the cancer care system, it is important to establish the essential competencies of a PC peer navigator. We systematically identified and verified a set of core competencies for PC peer navigators and present a competency framework for PC peer navigators.


In phase 1, we conducted formative research consisting of a literature review and environmental scan as well as a secondary analysis of qualitative interviews. In phase 2, we drafted and mapped competencies. Finally in phase 3, expert stakeholders completed an anonymous survey to indicate whether they endorsed the competencies and to rank the importance of each competency to the peer navigator role. Open-ended feedback was also provided for each competency.


Six core competency domains emerged: (1) self as navigator, (2) communication, (3) knowledge/information, (4) facilitate patient-centred care, (5) eHealth/technology, and (6) caregiver needs. Forty-seven core competency statements were mapped to these domains. Expert stakeholders (n = 27) included cancer survivors, caregivers, and healthcare providers. Most (89%) of core competency statements were endorsed by stakeholders and received high priority ratings, whereas only five of the competencies were less uniformly endorsed.


This is the first attempt to list core competencies for PC peer navigators and may offer guidance for standardizing the PC peer navigator role and training.

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This work was supported by the Movember Foundation.

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Correspondence to J. L. Bender.

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This was one component of a larger project which was approved by the University Health Network Research Ethics Board.

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The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

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Flora, P.K., Bender, J.L., Miller, A.S. et al. A core competency framework for prostate cancer peer navigation. Support Care Cancer 28, 2605–2614 (2020).

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  • Peer support
  • Competency framework
  • Peer navigation
  • Prostate cancer
  • eHealth