Work resumption and retention in patients with advanced cancer: Experiences and perspectives of general and occupational health care professionals

Amber D. Zegers, Emma S. van Andel, Donna C.E. Beerda, Desiree J.S. Dona, Eline J. Aukema, Linda Brom, Saskia F.A. Duijts

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Objective: The objectives of this sare to explore the experiences and perspectives of general and occupational health care professionals regarding work resumption and work retention of patients with advanced cancer, and to identify barriers and facilitators these professionals may encounter. Methods: A qualitative design was applied, and individual semistructured interviews were conducted. General and occupational health care professionals were eligible to participate if they were involved in the work participation guidance of patients with advanced cancer, and were recruited through the network of the research team. Interview data were transcribed verbatim and analysed thematically via ATLAS.ti 9. Results: Interviewees (N = 17) had various occupational backgrounds, for example, occupational physician, reintegration consultant, and general practitioner. Four main themes emerged from the data: (1) Assumptions and hesitations, (2) Patient initiates stakeholder communication, (3) Role dispersion: who is in charge of what? and (4) Experience with legislation creates opportunities. Conclusion: Whereas most interviewees had positive experiences with, and/or optimistic expectations of, the work resumption and work retention of patients with advanced cancer, several barriers to the work participation guidance of these patients were identified. Suggestions for improvement include creating widespread awareness of the possibility of work participation of patients with advanced cancer and developing reintegration guidelines for advanced cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere13714
JournalEuropean journal of cancer care
Volume31
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022

Keywords

  • advanced cancer
  • metastatic
  • palliative care
  • qualitative research
  • return to work

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