Recommendations for Research and Practice to Improve Work Outcomes Among Cancer Survivors

de Moor, J. S., Alfano, C. M., Kent, E. E., Norton, W. E., Coughlan, D., Roberts, M. C., Grimes, M., Bradley, C. J.

Major knowledge gaps limit the development and implementation of interventions to improve employment outcomes among people with cancer. To identify research priorities to improve employment outcomes after cancer, the National Cancer Institute sponsored the meeting “Evidence-Based Approaches for Optimizing Employment Outcomes among Cancer Survivors.” This article describes research recommendations stemming from the meeting. At the patient level, longitudinal studies are needed to better understand how patient sociodemographic and clinical characteristics and their experiences at work shape employment outcomes. Interventions that mitigate the impact of cancer and its treatment on employment are critical. At the provider-level, future research is needed to characterize the extent to which physicians and other healthcare providers talk to their patients about employment concerns and how that information is used to inform care. Additionally, there is a need to test models of care delivery that support routine screening of employment concerns, the capture of employment outcomes in electronic health records, and the effective use of this information to improve care. At the employer level, evidence-based training programs are needed to prepare supervisors, managers, human resources staff, and occupational health professionals to address health issues in the workplace; and future interventions are needed to improve patient -employer communication and facilitate workplace accommodations. Importantly, research is needed that reflects the perspectives and priorities of patients and their families, providers and healthcare systems, and employers. Transdisciplinary partnerships and stakeholder engagement are essential to ensure that employment-focused interventions and policies are developed, implemented, and sustained in real-world healthcare delivery and workplace settings.

Topic(s): Economic Burden
Health Condition(s): Cancer
Year Published: 2018
UAB the University of Alabama at Birmingham home
UAB is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer committed to fostering a diverse, equitable and family-friendly environment in which all faculty and staff can excel and achieve work/life balance irrespective of race, national origin, age, genetic or family medical history, gender, faith, gender identity and expression as well as sexual orientation. UAB also encourages applications from individuals with disabilities and veterans.