Co-Adapting and Implementing Patient Navigation for Primary Cancer Prevention

People experiencing mental health problems often face structural issues when accessing health services. These issues are due to a variety of issues that are often associated with general stigmatization and discrimination as well as the concept of “diagnostic overshadowing”, which describes situations in which experiences of physical symptoms by people with mental health diagnoses are often discounted and ascribed to their mental health issues, or otherwise not taken seriously. This leads to higher morbidity and mortality from somatic illnesses of people with mental health problems. One of the more prominent examples of this problem is both the higher prevalence and higher mortality of cancer in this population. Reasons for this excess are multifarious but include often unhealthy behaviors (such as smoking, sedentary behavior, lack of physical activity) and lack of access to preventive health services or access to services which to not take into account the special needs of people with mental health problems. Additionally, preventive services in most European countries are not easily accessible and are often very fragmented, which adds further complexities. A possible solution to this issue is Patient Navigation, which is focuses on removing barriers and promoting access and empowerment to services based on a health needs assessment. The Cancer Prevention among Individuals with Mental Ill-Health: Co-Adapting and Implementing Patient Navigation for Primary Cancer Prevention (CO-CAPTAIN PROJECT) aims to use participatory co-design to contextualize and create a patient navigation model in 4 European countries (Austria, Greece, Poland and Spain) for primary cancer prevention and evaluate its implementation and effectiveness. A Horizon Europe financed project brought together a consortium of 11 institutions from 5 European countries and is coordinated by Igor Grabovac at the Medical University of Vienna.

To learn more about the CO-CAPTAIN project please visit the dedicated webpage or follow the project on X.

For more questions on the CO-CAPTAIN project please contact Hanna Mües or Katrin Schäfer.