Bridging Health Care and the Workplace: Formulation of a Return-to-Work Intervention for Breast Cancer Patients Using an Intervention Mapping Approach
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Purpose An increasing number of breast cancer (BC) survivors of working age require return to work (RTW) support. Objective of this paper is to describe the development of a RTW intervention to be embedded in the care process bridging the gap between hospital and workplace. Method The Intervention Mapping (IM) approach was used and combined formative research results regarding RTW in BC patients with published insights on occupational therapy (OT) and RTW. Four development steps were taken, starting from needs assessment to the development of intervention components and materials. Results A five-phased RTW intervention guided by a hospital-based occupational therapist is proposed: (1) assessing the worker, the usual work and contextual factors which impacts on (re-)employment; (2) exploration of match/differences between the worker and the usual work; (3) establishing long term goals, broken down into short term goals; (4) setting up tailored actions by carefully implementing results of preceding phases; (5) step by step, the program as described in phase 4 will be executed. The occupational therapist monitors, measures and reviews goals and program-steps in the intervention to secure the tailor-made approach of each program-step of the intervention. Conclusion The use of IM resulted in a RTW oriented OT intervention. This unique intervention succeeds in matching individual BC patient needs, the input of stakeholders at the hospital and the workplace.
KeywordsBreast cancer Occupational therapy Return to work Intervention Mapping Vocational rehabilitation
The authors wish to thank “Kom Op Tegen Kanker” for funding this research. We are also very grateful for the support of the CANWON project.
A.D.R., R.C. and H.D. participated intensively in the discussion sessions that are mentioned in the method section of this paper. L.G. and E.V.H. questioned the outcomes of the discussions; the choices made in the development process and, like A.D.R. and R.C., both were involved in editing the text that was written by H.D.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
No competing interests.
For the development of the intervention, no personal data of participants or patients were collected. The article is based on the literature. Consequently, no approval was required from an ethical committee.
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