Municipal return to work management in cancer survivors: a controlled intervention study

Christina M. Stapelfeldt, Anne-Mette H. Momsen, Anders Bonde Jensen, Niels Trolle Andersen & Claus Vinther Nielsen

Introduction

Resuming work during or after cancer treatment has become an important target in cancer rehabilitation.

Purpose 

The aim was in a controlled trial to study the return to work (RTW) effect of an early, individually tailored vocational rehabilitation intervention targeted to improve readiness for RTW in cancer survivors.

Material and methods

Participants diagnosed with breast, cervix, ovary, testicular, colon-rectal, and head-and-neck cancers as well as being employed were allocated to a vocational rehabilitation intervention provided by municipal social workers (n=83) or to usual municipal RTW management (n=264).

The intervention contained three elements: motivational communication inspired by Acceptance and Commitment Therapy by which RTW barriers were addressed, municipal cancer rehabilitation and finally employer and workplace contact. RTW effect was assessed as relative cumulative incidence proportions (RCIP) in the control and intervention group within 52 weeks of follow-up, estimated from the week where treatment ended at the hospital.

RCIP was interpreted and reported as relative risk (RR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) adjusted for gender, age cancer diagnosis, education, comorbidity, and sick leave weeks.

Results

Across cancer diagnoses 69 (83.1%) and 215 (81.4%) returned to work in the intervention and control group, respectively. No statistical effect was seen (RR 1.08 (95% CI 0.98–1.19)). Repeating the analyses solely for participants with breast cancer (n?=?290) showed a significant effect of the intervention (RR 1.12 (95% CI 1.01–1.23)).

Conclusion

More than 80% returned to work in both groups. However, no statistical difference in RTW effect was seen across cancer diagnoses within one year from being exposed to an early, individually tailored vocational rehabilitation intervention compared with usual municipal RTW management.

Municipal return to work management in cancer survivors: a controlled intervention study

Udgivelsesform Videnskabelige artikler
År 2020
Udgiver Acta Oncologica
ISBN/ISSN ISRCTN50753764
Længde 9 sider