Access to resources in the community through navigation: Protocol for a mixed-methods feasibility study
Background: Community-based health and social resources can help individuals with complex health and social needs achieve their health goals. However, there is often inadequate access to these resources due to a lack of physician and patient awareness of available resources and the presence of social barriers that limit an individual's ability to reach these services. Navigation services, where a person is tasked with helping connect patients to community resources, embedded within primary care may facilitate access and strengthen the continuity of care for patients.
Objective: This study aims to describe the protocol to assess whether the implementation of the Access to Resources in the Community (ARC) navigation model (an innovative approach to navigation services) is feasible, including its potential to achieve its intended outcomes, and to assess the viability of the evaluation approach.
METHODS: The study consists of a single-arm, prospective, explanatory, mixed-methods, pre-post design feasibility study focusing on primary care practice settings with vulnerable populations. Participants include primary care providers and patients.
Results: Enrollment is closed with 82 patients. Navigation services have ended for 69 patients.
Conclusion: The study of an innovative complex intervention requires an adequate assessment of the feasibility of the intended approach during which the potential challenges of the planned intervention and need for its adaptation may be uncovered. Undertaking a feasibility study of the ARC navigation model from a conceptually clear and methodologically solid protocol will inform on the practicality and acceptability of the approach, demand for the services, ease of implementation, quality of integration of the new services within primary care, and practicality and potential for efficacy prior to initiating a randomized controlled trial.
Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT03105635; https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03105635 (Archived by WebCite at hhttp://www.webcitation.org/75FrwXORl). International Registered Report Identifier (IRRID): RR1-10.2196/11022.
Dahrouge S, Gauthier A, Chiocchio F, et al. Access to resources in the community through navigation: Protocol for a mixed-methods feasibility study. JMIR Res Protoc. 2019;8(1):e11022.PMID: 30679151. DOI: 10.2196/11022.