The missing link

Optimising return-to-work for employees with cancer, by supporting employers

Project leaders: Dr Angelique de Rijk (UM), Dr Sietske Tamminga (AMC), Prof. Monique Frings-Dresen (AMC)
Researchers: Dr Corine Tiedtke (UM) as postdoc; PhD candidate at AMC
Period: 2015-2019

Cancer patients consider return-to-work (RTW) a key aspect of cancer survivorship, as work contributes to a better financial situation and a better quality of life. Unfortunately, many cancer patients experience problems upon their RTW, and interventions to optimise this are much needed. Although occupational physicians advise on RTW, employers are the most important stakeholders in this process. There is hardly any research on employers’ experiences with employees who have cancer, let alone on interventions that support employers to optimise RTW of cancer survivors. The KWF-funded joint UM-AMC project focuses at this missing link. At UM, the postdoc will conduct a qualitative study on how employers in the Netherlands experience their role and responsibility regarding employees with cancer and their RTW process, and which specific needs they have with regard to this. With that knowledge, an online toolbox for employers will be developed and tested in a PhD project at AMC.