Case management for return to work for individuals living with cancer: a systematic review

Jean McQueen, Gerry McFeely

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Work integration and job retention can be difficult for individuals living with cancer. Individuals with cancer report that work integration is an important factor to them in their recovery, not least for reasons associated with financial security, but also as a marker related to normality. Some individuals returning to work require specific assistance from health professionals, their employers and employer agents, such as occupational health, to achieve a successful return. The matter of vocational support for individuals living with cancer, however, represents a significant social and economic issue as cancer survival rates increase. Often individuals with cancer, without appropriate support, face the stark possibility of job loss. Objective: To determine whether a vocational case management approach impacts on return to work for an individual living with cancer. Specific questions addressed: does an individualised case management approach reduce the length of absence from work following a cancer diagnosis? Does case management impact on sustained employment following a cancer diagnosis? Methods: Electronic databases were searched up to June 2015. A total of 187 articles were screened, of which three met the inclusion criteria. Conclusions: Two randomised controlled trials and one case controlled trial were appraised. There was some heterogeneity which made comparison between studies difficult. Overall, the sample sizes were small and there was no clear evidence of effectiveness.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-210
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Therapy and Rehabilitation
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2 May 2017


  • case management
  • returning to work
  • cancer patients


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