Identification of actions to be taken by managers to facilitate the return to work of cancer survivors: Consensus between managers and cancer survivors

B. Porro, S. J. Tamminga, A. G. E. M. de Boer, A. Petit, Y. Roquelaure, M. A. Greidanus

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Managers are considered to be main stakeholders in the return to work (RTW) of cancer survivors. However, the perspectives of cancer survivors and managers differ on what managerial actions should be taken during the RTW of cancer survivors. This difference might put effective collaboration and successful RTW at risk. Therefore, this study aims to reach consensus among managers and cancer survivors on the managerial actions to be taken during the four different RTW phases of cancer survivors (i.e., Disclosure, Treatment, RTW plan, Actual RTW). Methods: The Technique for Research of Information by Animation of a Group of Experts (TRIAGE) was implemented with managers and cancer survivors (hereafter referred to as “experts”). An initial list of 24 actions was derived from a previous study. Firstly, for each action, fifteen experts were asked to indicate individually how important this action is per RTW phase (Likert scale from 1 – “Not important at all” to 6 – “Very important”). Consensus was reached when ≥ 80% (i.e., ≥ twelve experts) of the experts rated that action ≥5. Secondly, for each phase of the RTW process, the 15 actions with the highest percentage were discussed with eight experts during the collective consultation, except for the actions that already reached consensus. After discussion, the experts voted whether each action was important (“yes” / “no”) and consensus required ≥ 87.5% (i.e., ≥ seven experts) of the experts to consider an action as important. Results: Twenty-five managerial actions were finally retained for at least one of the RTW phases, e.g., Disclosure: “respect privacy” and “radiate a positive attitude”, Treatment: “show appreciation” and “allow sufficient sick leave”, RTW Plan: “tailor” and “communicate”, and Actual RTW: “support practically” and “balance interest”. Conclusion: Cancer survivors and managers reached consensus on the importance of 25 managerial actions, distributed into each phase of the RTW process. These actions should be considered an interplay of managerial actions by different stakeholders on the part of the employer (e.g., direct supervisor, HR-manager), and should be a responsibility that is shared by these stakeholders. The collective implementation of these actions within the company will help cancer survivors feel fully supported.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1905
JournalBMC public health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2022


  • Cancer survivors
  • Employer
  • Expert consensus
  • Managers
  • Return to work
  • TRIAGE method

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