Chronic disease

Symptom Navi Program

The Symptom Navi Program helps people living with cancer to manage their own symptoms during and after periods of therapy.

The Symptom Navi Program (SNP) consists of three components: leaflets with information on symptom management for affected individuals, semi-structured educational consultations conducted by trained professionals to facilitate self-management by affected individuals, and a standardized training concept for health professionals to introduce the programme within institutions.


Program development

From 2011 to 2016, the programm was developed and evaluated at the Lindenhofspital in Bern, in collaboration with affected individuals, family members, health professionals, oncology-specialized organizations, as well as graphic designers for leaflet design. All self-management recommendations have been validated using the Item Content Validity Index (I-CVI) and adjusted as needed. Personal interviews with affected individuals (n=10) have confirmed the benefit and importance of educational consultations for them and their family members.

Assessment of Implementation

From 2016 to 2020, the introduction of SNP was assessed through a randomized cluster pilot study across nine health centres. Participants received a minimum of two educational consultations with leaflets during the pilot study. Specifically trained nurses administered educational consultations at the beginning of new systemic anti-tumour treatments. They confirmed the practical feasibility of implementing the program and conducting educational consultations. No significant differences were observed between the intervention and control groups concerning symptom burden or its impact on daily life. The use of SNP proved to be safe and did not result in any adverse events. Following the pilot study, the program was implemented at four out of the five control centres.

Program Dissemination

The Schweizerische Verein zur Förderung des Selbstmanagements (VFSM) was founded in 2020 to facilitate the nationwide introduction of the Symptom Navi Program (SNP). Membership fees ensure corefunding for SNP. Furthermore, the foundation Gesundheitsförderung Schweiz supported the dissemination of SNP from 2022 to 2023. As part of this project funding, the SNP is being introduced at three cantonal cancer leagues and one Spitex organization (home care). The implementation in these non-hospital settings, will be evaluated. Additionally, new self-management leaflets will be developed, and a website has been created to provide VFSM members access to all leaflets and training materials. For individuals affected by cancer and their families, the website offers information and insights into self-management.

Future perspectives

Securing long-term funding through member recruitment and other funding sources. Planning for an effectiveness study incorporating patient-reported outcomes.


Research team

Marika Bana
Bana Marika
Associate Professor UAS
Room: 5.51

  • Evaluation der Implementierung vom SNP mit einer cluster-randomisierten Pilotstudie: DOI: 10.1097/NCC.0000000000000995

  • Entwicklung des Programms und Evaluation der Schulungen: DOI: 1016/j.ejon.2019.101714

  • Studienprotokoll zur Pilotstudie: DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2018-027942

  • Präsentationen an Kongressen und Konferenzen: Fachtagung Psychoonkologie, Bern (2023); Swiss Oncology and Hematology Congress, Basel (2022); Deutscher Krebskongress, Berlin (2022); COMPAR-EU final conference, Palma de Mallorca (2022); Swiss Congress for Health Professionals (2022); Onkologiepflegekongress, Bern (2022); Kongress der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Hämatologie und Onkologie, online (2021);

  • Preise: Anerkennungspreis Allianz Gesundheitskompetenz 2023; Prix FORESO (2021); Bestes Forschungsprojekt AFG Onkologiepflege – OPS (2021)