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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(8), 1343;

Return to Work Interventions for Cancer Survivors: A Systematic Review and a Methodological Critique

Institut National du Cancer (INCa), 92100 Boulogne-Billancourt, France
Laboratory of Psychopathology and Health Processes (EA 4057), Paris Descartes University, 92100 Boulogne-Billancourt, France
Health Sciences/Public Health, Faculty of Medicine Carl Gustav Carus, Technische Universität Dresden, 01307 Dresden, Germany
Neurology, Public Health and Disability Unit, Foundation IRCCS Neurological Institute Carlo Besta, 20133 Milan, Italy
Health Education and Practices Laboratory (LEPS EA 3412), Paris 13 University-UFR SMBH, 93017 Bobigny, France
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 15 March 2019 / Revised: 11 April 2019 / Accepted: 12 April 2019 / Published: 14 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social, Economic, and Environmental Determinants of Chronic Diseases)
PDF [794 KB, uploaded 14 April 2019]


Cancer patients are more at risk of being unemployed or having difficulties to return to work (RTW) compared to individuals without health concerns, and is thus a major public health issue. The aim of this systematic review is to identify and describe the interventions developed specifically to help cancer patients to RTW after treatment. Two researchers independently screened the articles for inclusion and Critical Appraisal Skills Program (CASP) checklists were used to assess the methodology of the included studies. Ten manuscripts met the inclusion criteria. The type of studies were three quasi-experimental studies, three longitudinal studies, three randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and a qualitative study. RTW interventions were conducted in or outside the hospital (n = 6 and 3 respectively), or both (n = 1). Improvements in RTW were only observed in quasi-experimental studies. No improvement in RTW was noted in RCTs, nor in other measures (e.g., quality of life, fatigue). Lack of statistically significant improvement does not necessarily reflect reality, but may be attributed to non-adapted research methods. This systematic review underscores the need for researches in the RTW field to reach a consensus on RTW criteria and their assessment. Recommendations to this effect are suggested. View Full-Text
Keywords: cancer; intervention; return to work; systematic review; work rehabilitation cancer; intervention; return to work; systematic review; work rehabilitation

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Lamore, K.; Dubois, T.; Rothe, U.; Leonardi, M.; Girard, I.; Manuwald, U.; Nazarov, S.; Silvaggi, F.; Guastafierro, E.; Scaratti, C.; Breton, T.; Foucaud, J. Return to Work Interventions for Cancer Survivors: A Systematic Review and a Methodological Critique. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 1343.

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