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    The role of communication and support in return to work following cancer-related absence

    Yarker, Jo and Munir, F. and Bains, M. and Kalawsky, K. and Haslam, C. (2010) The role of communication and support in return to work following cancer-related absence. Psycho-Oncology 19 (10), pp. 1078-1085. ISSN 1057-9249.

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    Objective: Many cancer survivors experience difficulties returning to work. However, there have been relatively few attempts to understand why problems with employer support and work adjustment occur. This paper aims to extend previous work in two ways: first, through exploring the way in which communication and support at work effect cancer survivors on their return to work and during the post‐return period; and second, by drawing on a research sample working in the United Kingdom. Methods: In all, 26 cancer survivors took part in a semi‐structured telephone interview. Interviews were transcribed and analysed using thematic analysis. Results: The analysis revealed three key findings. First, the central role of communication and support from (and between) occupational health, line managers, and colleagues was highlighted. Second, two discrete processes or periods of return to work were identified: the experience of return to work during the initial period of return and the experiences of post‐return to work. Third, during the post‐return period, the importance of the delayed impact of cancer on the ability to work, the lack of follow‐up and monitoring, and the wear‐off effect of empathy and support were highlighted as contributing to return‐to‐work difficulties. Conclusions: This qualitative study highlights the importance of communication within the workplace with regard to the return‐to‐work process and the need to provide better support and guidance to cancer survivors, line managers and colleagues. Research is required in delineating how employers without occupational health or human resources support manage the return‐to‐work process.


    Item Type: Article
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Business and Law > Birkbeck Business School
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 06 Aug 2015 13:44
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:52


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