Journal of Cancer Education

, Volume 26, Issue 2, pp 277–284 | Cite as

Training Experiences of Lay and Professional Patient Navigators for Colorectal Cancer Screening

  • Rachel C. Shelton
  • Hayley S. Thompson
  • Lina Jandorf
  • Alejandro Varela
  • Bridget Oliveri
  • Cristina Villagra
  • Heiddis B. Valdimarsdottir
  • William H. Redd


Patient navigation (PN) is increasingly used in cancer care, but little is known about the identification and training of patient navigators. PN may be implemented by professional health care providers, paraprofessionals, or lay health workers and, therefore, presents an opportunity to compare professional and lay interventionist experiences. The goal of the current report is to compare the training experiences of four professional (Pro) and five lay (LHW) patient navigators enlisted to increase colonoscopy adherence among African American primary care patients. The results of early assessments showed that LHWs’ intervention-related knowledge was significantly lower than that of Pros. However, there were no significant differences in knowledge scores between LHWs and Pros for most subsets of knowledge items in later assessments. Furthermore, there were no significant differences in LHWs’ and Pros’ reported self-efficacy and satisfaction with training. Findings support the use of diverse strategies to train and prepare LHWs as patient navigators.


Lay health workers Patient navigation Colonoscopy Cancer screening Training 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rachel C. Shelton
    • 1
  • Hayley S. Thompson
    • 2
  • Lina Jandorf
    • 3
  • Alejandro Varela
    • 3
  • Bridget Oliveri
    • 4
  • Cristina Villagra
    • 3
  • Heiddis B. Valdimarsdottir
    • 5
  • William H. Redd
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Sociomedical SciencesColumbia University, Mailman School of Public HealthNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Department of Epidemiology and Population HealthAlbert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva UniversityBronxUSA
  3. 3.Department of Oncological SciencesMount Sinai School of MedicineNew YorkUSA
  4. 4.New York Medical CollegeValhallaUSA
  5. 5.Reykjavik UniversitySchool of Health and EducationReykjavikIceland

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