Exploring the Needs of Cancer Survivors When Returning to or Staying in the Workforce Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • Purpose Cancer survivors have strong personal desires to resume work to feel productive and meet financial needs. However, they may be faced with physical and psychological challenges. This research addresses the question: "What are the needs of cancer survivors when returning to or staying in the workforce?" by (i) examining cancer survivors' perspectives on supports needed when returning to or staying in the workforce and (ii) exploring personal and employment factors that influence the return to work process. Methods An exploratory qualitative design was used. We conducted focus groups and one-on-one semi-structured interviews with cancer survivors (nā€‰=ā€‰15). Inductive thematic analysis was used to analyze the data. Results Four key themes were identified as significant aspects of the return-to-work process for cancer survivors: (1) changing perspectives on self and work; (2) managing work and social systems; (3) determining disclosure and accommodation; and (4) the importance of supports for return to work and daily life. Conclusions There is a growing interest in developing targeted interventions to improve work outcomes for cancer survivors. This study informs cancer rehabilitation research by developing an understanding of the supports and strategies that should be implemented to help cancer survivors return to work successfully and improve quality of life.

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publication date

  • September 2020