Cluster 1 - EU NAVIGATE

eu navigate.jpg

EU NAVIGATE: Implementation and evaluation of a navigation intervention for people with cancer in old age and their family caregivers: an international pragmatic randomized controlled trial



EU nr: 101057361

Coördinator: VUB (End-of-Life Care Research Group)

Partners: The Provost, Fellows, Foundation Scholars & The Other Members Of Board, Of The College Of The Holy & Undivided Trinity Of Queen Elizabeth Near Dublin (IE), Uniwersytet Jagiellonski (POLAND), Stichting Vumc (NL), Universidade De Coimbra (PORTUGAL), University of British Columbia – Okanagan (CA), European Cancer Organisation (BE), European Association Of Palliative Care (BE), Age Platform Europe (BE), Lega Italiana Per La Lotta Contro I Tumori Di Milano (IT)

Period: 01/09 2022-31/08/2027 (5yrs)

Budget: 5 993 222.00€ (total grant amount) 1 082 937.00 (VUB)

(Ugent is part of the Alliance VUB-UGent End-of-Life Care Research Group and both Flemish universities were each awarded a grant amount in this project).

Project description

Most people with cancer are older, affecting millions of Europeans each year. Providing high-quality, equitable, and cost-effective care across the continuum of supportive, palliative, end-of-life, and survivorship care for both patients and their frequently overburdened family caregivers is highly relevant from an economic, healthcare, and prevention perspective.

Nav-Care© developed by Pesut & Duggleby is a person- and family-centered navigation intervention developed over the past 13 years for older adults with a variety of chronic illnesses of which cancer was the most prevalent, and for people living with advanced cancer in rural areas of Canada. It is a face-to-face and tele-supported non-pharmacological intervention that aims to work in collaboration with patients, families, professionals, and communities to promote quality of life and wellbeing, reduce health-related suffering, support empowerment, and social engagement, and improve timely and equitable access to health and social care services and resources as needed, throughout the care and illness continuum.

As the health care, economic, and geographical contexts in Europe differ from those in Canada, building such high-quality scientific evidence is essential for establishing clear recommendations for the implementation of patient and family navigation in different EU countries with a view to generating the most favorable outcomes for older cancer patients and their family. As the very nature of patient navigation (implying low-threshold access and creation of links between patients, families, and health and social services) requires their firm integration into existing healthcare contexts, any evaluation of the effectiveness of a navigation intervention must be embedded in ‘real-world’ healthcare contexts.

During this project, researchers will evaluate the effects of an adapted EU NAVIGATE care model in European healthcare systems. EU NAVIGATE will advance the state of the art by providing innovative solutions to the complex supportive and palliative care needs to be experienced by older cancer patients and their families.


The EU NAVIGATE project is an interdisciplinary, cross-country and intersectoral project aiming to evaluate the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of a Navigation Intervention (NavCare-EU) for older people with cancer and their family caregivers in different health care systems in Europe. Effectiveness and cost-effectiveness will be evaluated through an international pragmatic randomized controlled trial among 532 cancer patients aged 70 years and older and their family caregivers. Robust mixed-method subgroup analyses and in-depth process and implementation evaluations are included. User and stakeholder involvement methods are integrated throughout the whole project.

Role of Ghent University

The Department of Public Health and Primary Care (End of Life Care Research Group) is involved as consortium partner, and will be responsible for Work Package 2: Standardization, adaptation and feasibility testing of NavCare-EU. Specific objectives are: To prepare a standardized NavCare-EU intervention for all countries through:

  1.  Translations, cross-country adaptation and standardization of the Nav-Care© intervention toolkit (i.e. its blended training and implementation manuals and tools) through user and stakeholder involvement;
  2. Feasibility and pilot testing of the intervention toolkit with users and stakeholders in each country;
  3. Ensuring adaptations do not compromise the functional integrity of the intervention as a whole i.e. the extent to which the core functions and processes (core components) of the evidence-informed intervention are maintained;
  4. International blended training development using train the trainer approach;
  5. Website development for blended training and implementation manuals and tools.


end-of-life care


Prof. Kenneth Chambaere & Dr. Joni Gilissen
Department: End-of-Life Care Research Group (Department of Public Health and Primary Care)
Phone number: +32 9 332 61 24

Funding info

vlag plat funded by the eu.JPG

Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Health and Digital Executive Agency (HADEA). Neither the European Union nor the authority can be held responsible for them.