Testing the feasibility of a support intervention for transitioning back to ‘good’ work following breast cancer.

  • Halkett, Georgia K.B. (Primary Chief Investigator (PCI))
  • Sheppard, Dianne (Chief Investigator (CI))
  • O’Connor, Moira (Chief Investigator (CI))
  • Cormie, Prue (Chief Investigator (CI))

Project: Research

Project Details

Project Description

The health benefits of work are well established. Work-related needs of cancer survivors are a research priority: returning to work (RTW)/ sustaining ‘good’ work is a marker of social recovery and quality of life. Aligned with the ‘cancer and work’ systems framework [1], this multi-modal, tailored RTW-Support Intervention will identify and modify the impact of biopsychosocial and workplace factors that could hinder transitioning to good work and returning to wellness.
Aim: To implement a feasibility study of a tailored, multi-modal occupational rehabilitation (OR) intervention (IPAR RTW-Support Intervention) to support the transition to sustainable employment and living well for breast cancer survivors.
The intervention will provide a psychosocial assessment followed by individually-tailored RTW support. Tailored services include health coaching (enabling breast cancer survivors to successfully manage their transition to good work and living well), liaison with clinicians and employers, and individualised RTW planning and monitoring.
Participants: Breast cancer survivors unable to work in their pre-diagnosis capacity for at least 3 months following the completion of breast cancer treatment.
Adopting the RE-AIM framework (see below) [2] will enable comprehensive evaluation of relevant outcomes and increase the likelihood of successful implementation nationally.
Efficacy arm: baseline and follow-up comparison at 6 months of primary RTW and secondary outcome measures.
Acceptability arm: post-intervention interviews and surveys with relevant stakeholders (breast cancer survivors, employers and OR case managers).
Impact & Significance
This feasibility study will evaluate a tailored, multi-modal innovation in breast cancer care. It brings together the insurance, OR and cancer support sectors to implement and evaluate an intervention that has the capacity to benefit breast cancer survivors, their families and workplaces across Australia. This project works toward:
- improved work, health and quality of life outcomes for breast cancer survivors;
- work-related competency improvements within life insurance, OR and large employer sectors.
Effective start/end date1/04/1831/03/21