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    Helping cancer survivors return to work: what providers tell us about the challenges in assisting cancer patients with work questions

    Bains, M. and Yarker, Jo and Amir, Z. and Wynn, P. and Munir, F. (2012) Helping cancer survivors return to work: what providers tell us about the challenges in assisting cancer patients with work questions. Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation 22 (1), pp. 71-77. ISSN 1053-0487.

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    Introduction Cancer patients and survivors report receiving little work-related advice from healthcare providers about how to manage their work during treatment or when to return after completing primary treatment. This study explores the extent to which health professionals involved with colorectal cancer patients address work matters during active treatment. Methods Eighteen health professionals from oncology, occupational health and general practice were interviewed. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and analysed using thematic analysis. Results Health professionals provide conflicting and limited information to patients regarding ability to work during treatment, or when to return to work thereafter. Lack of knowledge about impacts of treatment and symptoms on work ability and sustainability, particularly in relation to different occupations and work tasks resulted in providers offering minimal guidance to patients. Current practices relied on providers’ previous experiences with employed patients, rather than a sound evidence-base. Conclusions The type of work-related information given to patients by providers is not systematic. It is necessary to develop a better knowledge base about the impacts of cancer and its treatment on work ability, sustainability and return to work that would help providers to offer more tailored advice to patients, consistently. Therefore, it is appropriate to recommend that formal training for providers is necessary. Enhancing the quality of information and training for health professionals to provide better work-related support to patients during the early stages of treatment could enable individuals to manage their work more effectively and facilitate a successful transition from patient to survivor.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Cancer, Return to work facilitation, Work-related advice, Rehabilitation, Professional-patient relations, Qualitative
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Business and Law > Birkbeck Business School
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 06 Aug 2015 13:04
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:52


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