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Title: A qualitative study on the experience of return to work following treatment for head and neck cancer survivors
Author: Tzotzoli, Patapia
Awarding Body: King's College London (University of London)
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2013
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"Anyone who can walk to the welfare office can walk to work". The aim of this study was to use a qualitative approach to explore the experience of head and neck cancer (HNC) survivors upon return to work over a 1-year period post-treatment. Seventy-nine semi-structured interviews were conducted at two different timepoints, four weeks after treatment (47 interviews) and twelve months later (32 interviews). The interviews were transcribed verbatim and analyzed using thematic analysis; this work was facilitated by the NVivo 8. At these two timepoints, a number of themes emerged such as the main reasons for returning to employment and the difficulties that HNC survivors experience, the value placed on work prior to and after cancer, and work- or life-related goals following treatment. Variations in the experience among respondents shed light on the interaction between patients’ post-treatment health condition and the quality of support from environmental structures such as the health care system and their workplace. These insights allowed suggestions on potential interventions that could amend the current vocational rehabilitation system provided to HNC survivors, thereby increasing their chances for a successful reintegration at work. The increased survival figures of patients surviving cancer and returning to work has significant implications on the workforce and economy, thus these suggestions can provide a valuable source of information to support the government’s efforts to provide optimal care and assist people with medical problems in returning successfully to employment. Limitations of the present study are discussed and suggestions for further research projects on this area are also presented.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available