Is a tailored work-related support intervention feasible in everyday clinical practice? The experience of healthcare professionals and patients with cancer

AnneClaire G. N. M. Zaman, Kristien M. A. J. Tytgat, Jean H. G. Klinkenbijl, Monique H. W. Frings-Dresen, Angela G. E. M. de Boer

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BACKGROUND: Work is valued as an important feature in life, however patients diagnosed with cancer can experience work-related problems. We developed a work-related support intervention to support those in need. OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of the performed tailored GIRONA (Gastro Intestinal cancer patients Receiving Occupational support Near and After diagnosis) intervention and to describe the experiences of those receiving the work-related support and of those providing it. METHODS: An online questionnaire was used to survey the feasibility of the intervention of the support recipients (patients diagnosed with gastrointestinal cancer) and the support providers (healthcare professionals including: oncology nurses and oncological occupational physicians). Five themes were covered: acceptability, demand, implementation, practicality and integration of Bowen's feasibility model. RESULTS: Twenty-three patients, 14 oncology nurses and 4 oncological occupational physicians, shared their experiences about the tailored work-related support intervention. This intervention was generally perceived as positive and feasible by the participants. Some patients received work-related support despite not experiencing severe problems; others mentioned that they received no such support even though they did need it. Despite positive experiences, there are some barriers to tackle, such as length of consultation, timing of the initiation of work-related support and embedding the oncological occupational physician within the clinical setting. CONCLUSION: According to the healthcare professionals involved, GIRONA is feasible, however some practical barriers were mentioned. The intervention was perceived as positive by both patients and healthcare professionals, but the tailored component could be further improved to better support those in need of work-related support.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)871-884
Number of pages14
JournalWork (Reading, Mass.)
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Return to work
  • feasibility studies
  • gastrointestinal neoplasms
  • patient care
  • vocational rehabilitation

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