CaRE - Cancer and Return to Employment

Status: 
Research workstream(s): 
Related staff: 
Mr Damian O'Driscoll (former staff)
Ms Kate Higney (former staff)
Prof Linda Sharp (former staff)
Collaborators & co-investigators: 
Prof Cathy Bradley, Virginia Commonwealth University, Virginia, USA
Funding source: 
Health Research Board

More than 40% of cancers in Ireland are diagnosed in people of working age. With improvements in treatment and survival, more and more survivors resume everyday activities during, or following, treatment: this includes returning to employment. For survivors, return to the workplace is an important step on the path to recovery, enhancing self-esteem and quality-of-life. On the other hand, early workforce departure has economic implications for survivors and their families, the labour market, employers and society as a whole. Thus there are several reasons why it is important to restore cancer survivors to their desired level of work function and economic productivity. Despite its importance, cancer's impact on employment has been under-researched.

This project is investigating employment outcomes among cancer survivors in Ireland. A cohort of 625 breast, prostate and colorectal cancer survivors, aged 18-64 years and working at the time of diagnosis, have been surveyed (using structured telephone interviews) at two time points, approximately 6 and 12-months post-diagnosis. Rates of work resumption, and personal, disease/treatment and job-related factors associated with this, are being investigated. The study is also investigating cancer survivors’ experiences after returning to the workplace and the roles of employers and healthcare professionals in influencing survivors’ decisions on work resumption.

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