December/January 2012/2013 (vol. 09/4)

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Research Plus

Working with cancer

Occupational health support for people with cancer should focus on helping survivors achieve ‘workrelated goals’ rather than simply their return to work (RTW), this systematic review and meta-synthesis finds (25 included studies). Individuals’ desire and experience of returning to work depends on how cancer affects different functions of work and how well they can re-engage after cancer. There are four key elements to this, irrespective of cancer diagnosis: self-identity; meaning and significance of work; family and financial context; and work performance and environment. RTW is rarely an end in itself and the concept needs redefining to a more ‘person-centred’ approach that acknowledges each of the four key elements. Support should focus on helping cancer survivors achieve their work-related goals, acknowledging the work-related outcomes that are important to the individual.


Psycho-Oncology 2012; online first: doi: 10.1002/pon.3148.


Occupational Health at Work December/January 2012/2013 (vol. 09/4) pp41