Exploring the application of the navigation model with people experiencing homelessness: a scoping review

Christina Carmichael, Lee Smith, Edelweiss Aldasoro, Alejandro Gil Salmerón, Tamara Alhambra-Borrás, Ascensión Doñate-Martínez, Radhika Seiler-Ramadas, Igor Grabovac

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


People experiencing homelessness are known to be at risk of disproportionately poor health outcomes and often face barriers in accessing healthcare. Patient navigation (PN) has been identified as a way to address health disparities and engage underserved populations with healthcare services . This scoping review aims to understand how PN models have been utilized with people experiencing homelessness and other comparable populations to date and more specifically identify (a) the defining features, (b) the barriers and facilitators in implementation, and (c) the outcomes associated with PN models. Database searches were conducted in Web of Science, PubMed and SCOPUS on 15th June 2021 and 21 papers, comprising nine reviews and 12 individual studies, were selected. Results indicate that PN has consistently been associated with improvements in a range of health-related outcomes, including timely access to healthcare. While the implementation and measurement of PN varies, a series of consistent features, facilitators and barriers are identified. Interventions to date have utilized a longitudinal approach and non-clinical navigators who share characteristics with the patient, and whose role is facilitatory. To maximize success in future use of PN, further research that focuses on the feasibility of the approach outside the USA is warranted.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)352-366
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Social Distress and Homelessness
Issue number2
Early online date9 Jan 2022
Publication statusPublished - 2023
Externally publishedYes

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