The positive effect of workplace accommodations on the continued employment of cancer survivors five years after diagnosis

  • Caroline AlleaumeEmail author
  • Alain Paraponaris
  • Marc-Karim Bendiane
  • Patrick Peretti-Watel
  • Anne-Déborah Bouhnik
Original Article



To address the gap highlighted in the literature on the effect of professional interventions to facilitate continued employment, this study aims to evaluate the effect of workplace accommodations on the continued employment 5 years after a cancer diagnosis.


This study is based on VICAN5, a French survey conducted in 2015–2016 to examine the living conditions of cancer survivors 5 years after diagnosis. Two subsamples, one with and one without workplace accommodations, were matched using a propensity score to control for the individual, professional, and medical characteristics potentially associated with receipt of workplace accommodations.


The study sample was composed of 1514 cancer survivors aged 18–54 and employed as salaried at diagnosis. Among them, 61.2% received workplace accommodations within 5 years after diagnosis: 35.5% received a modified workstation, 41.5% received a modified schedule, and 49.2% received reduced hours. After matching, receipt of workplace accommodations appeared to improve the continued employment rate 5 years after cancer diagnosis from 77.8% to 95.0%.


Receipt of workplace accommodations strongly increases the continued employment of cancer survivors 5 years after diagnosis. More research is needed to better understand the differences in receipt of workplace accommodations along with the related selection effect.


Cancer survivors Work simplification Return to work Employment status Case-control studies Propensity score France 



The VICAN5 survey was funded by the National Institute of Cancer (INCa), « Contrat de recherche et développement no. 05-2011 ». The authors would like to thank the French league against cancer (La Ligue contre le cancer) for the doctoral fellowship. Many thanks also go to Asmaa Janah and Sebastien Cortaredona for their precious advice. Thanks also to all the members of the VICAN team. Lastly, the authors thank Arianne Dorval for revising the English manuscript.

Author contributions

CA and AP designed the study. ADB and MKBD collected the data. CA, AP, and PPW interpreted the data. CA performed data analysis and drafted the manuscript. All authors discussed, revised, and finally approved the manuscript.

Funding information

The VICAN survey was funded by the National Institute of Cancer (INCa), « Contrat de recherche et développement No. 05-2011 ». However, this institute did not fund this study. This work was supported by French National Research Agency grant ANR-17-EURE-0020.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

The survey methodology was approved by three national ethics commissions: the CCTIRS (Comité Consultatif sur le Traitement de l’Information en Matière de Recherche dans le Domaine de la Santé, study registered under no 11-143), the ISP (Institute of Public Health, study registered under no C11-63), and the CNIL (French Commission on Individual Data Protection and Public Liberties, study registered under no 911290). Confidentiality is assured for all participants with regard to any personal responses and information provided, as all data collected are anonymized. Results of the study will be disseminated through national and international research conferences and in articles published in international peer-reviewed journals.

Supplementary material

520_2019_5189_MOESM1_ESM.docx (16 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 15 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Aix Marseille University, INSERM, IRD, SESSTIM, Sciences Economiques & Sociales de la Santé & Traitement de l’Information MédicaleMarseilleFrance
  2. 2.Aix Marseille University, CNRS, EHESS, Centrale Marseille, AMSEMarseilleFrance
  3. 3.Southeastern Health Observatory (ORS PACA)MarseilleFrance
  4. 4.Aix Marseille University, IRD, AP-HM, SSA, VITROME, IHU-Méditerranée InfectionMarseilleFrance

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