Current practices, needs, and expectations of discussing work with a medical specialist from a patient’s perspective: a qualitative study

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Purpose: Attention to paid work in clinical health care—clinical work-integrating care (CWIC)—might be beneficial for patients of working age. However, the perceptions and expectations of patients about CWIC are unknown. The aim of this study was to develop an understanding of current practices, needs, and expectations among patients for discussing work with a medical specialist. Materials and methods: A qualitative study was undertaken involving patients with diverse medical conditions (n = 33). Eight online synchronous focus groups were held. A thematic analysis was then performed. Results: Three themes emerged from the data: (1) the process of becoming a patient while wanting to work again, (2) different needs for different patients, (3) patients’ expectations of CWIC. We identified three different overarching categories of work-concerns: (a) the impact of work on disease, (b) the impact of disease or treatment on work ability, and (c) concerns when work ability remained decreased. For each category of concerns, patients expected medical specialists to perform differing roles. Conclusions: Patients indicated that they need support for work-related concerns from their medical specialists and/or other professionals. Currently, not all work concerns received the requested attention, leaving a portion of the patients with unmet needs regarding CWIC.
Original languageEnglish
JournalDisability and rehabilitation
Early online date2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2022


  • Clinical work-integrating care
  • focus groups
  • hospital care
  • medical specialist
  • qualitative
  • secondary health care
  • work

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