Return-to-work resources for people with cancer or chronic diseases

Read an environmental scan’s findings about practical resources and tools to help people with cancer and other chronic diseases return to work

This April 2012 report presents an environmental scan’s findings about existing support services, education, training programs, online resources and tools to help people with cancer and other chronic diseases return to work (RTW).

A Canadian Breast Cancer Network study showed that 16 per cent of women with breast cancer reported having had their jobs terminated and 20 per cent needed to quit their jobs because of work restrictions or difficulties associated with side effects and treatment.

The environmental scan had two goals:

  1. Create a comprehensive list of current support services, education and training programs, online resources and practical tools for employees either returning to or managing at work. All resources had to address workplace issues for people living with cancer and other chronic diseases.
  2. Contact and interview key developers and providers of the services, programs, resources or tools.

The scan’s findings recommend the following approaches for future research, programming and partnerships related to RTW:

  • Support the development and evaluation of pilot projects which involve three intersecting groups: individuals with cancer, health-care professionals and employers. The pilot projects should involve RTW support across the cancer trajectory, embrace multiple elements of RTW issues (including workplace reintegration and follow-up on the integration experience) and have a strong evaluation component.
  • Support the creation of an RTW expert panel to inform and advise on best practices, evaluation and strategies for long-term sustainability.
  • Facilitate knowledge transfer among RTW program providers and agencies, cancer support organizations, health professionals and employers.
  • Evaluate the knowledge transfer’s impact on the attitudes and practices of RTW program providers and agencies, cancer support organizations, health professionals and employers.
  • Follow up with organizations both within and outside the cancer community to determine future opportunities for engagement and information sharing.

As well, the Partnership has funded Cancer and Work to offer information and resources about RTW to Canadian cancer survivors, health-care providers and employers.

Downloadable content