Accommodating employees with breast cancer

01-Oct-2020 03:10

Cancer and paid work should thus be assessed in the context of individual priorities and values.

‘Cancer’ refers to a heterogeneous group of diagnoses with a range of prognoses.

A study of breast cancer survivors in Ontario [9] found 21% not in employment 3 years after diagnosis, in comparison to 15% of a matched cancer-free sample.

In The Netherlands, Spelten [11] reported a rate of 82% among participants resident in the North-West of England.

Functional limitations and cancer site were also consistently predictive of subsequent work outcomes.

Bradley and Bednarek [5] found that 67% of the 141 cancer survivors in their sample employed at the time of diagnosis were still in full-time employment 5–7 years later.

A study conducted by Bouknight [7] followed the employment journeys of 1433 cancer survivors.

Another review [13] examined a total of 18 studies published between 19 using six methodological criteria: (i) use of population-based samples from cancer registries to avoid selection bias; (ii) prospective and longitudinal assessment commencing as near to diagnosis and initial treatment as possible to gauge short- and long-term impact; (iii) detailed assessment of work intensity, role and content at multiple time points; (iv) assessment of impact of cancer on individual and family's economic status; (v) identification of multi-dimensional moderators of return to work and function (e.g.

cancer site/stage, treatment modality, co-morbidities, age, family structure, health insurance status) with a particular focus on those amenable to intervention and (vi) sample sizes of sufficient number to allow multivariate analysis, with sufficient numbers in subgroups for provision of prognostic information.

Survivorship following cancer diagnosis is increasing in prevalence; however, the research literature relating to the process of return to work is sparse.

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