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Successful Return to Work for Cancer Survivors – What is the Research Telling Us to Do?

Thursday, January 23, 2020 at 11:00 AM PT, 2:00 PM ET

With advances in diagnosis and treatment of cancer, the number of cancer survivors able to work is increasing. Currently, about half of cancer survivors are of working age. While 63% cancer are able to return to work in the first year, 26%-53% need stop working or loss their job  6 years post diagnosis.  There is a need for all involved in the return to work process (cancer survivors, health care providers, insurance representative and employers) to provide better support. While the research in the area of work cancer is still young, there are insights from the research and practical guidelines that can guide all stakeholders with this process.

You will learn:

  • Research-informed tips for cancer survivors, health care providers and employers that can be implemented to foster a successful return to work for cancer survivors
  • What cancer and work intervention studies are telling us on how to implement a return to work program
  • What standards for practice have been developed to date that can guide a return to work for cancer survivors
  • An overview of parts of Cancer and Work website that have been developed based on the research
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Key messages:

  • Employers can provide support and accommodations that can promote return to work.
  • Healthcare providers and insurance providers can play a more active role in supporting return to work.
  • Cancer survivors can take steps to address concerns about return to work.

Hosted by

Christine Maheu

Christine Maheu, RN, PhD

Associate Professor, Ingram School of Nursing, McGill University and Co-director of Cancer and Work
Dr. Christine Maheu is an Associate Professor in the Ingram School of Nursing, Faculty of Medicine, McGill University and FRQS Chercheur Boursier Junior 2. Dr. Maheu is also an Affiliate Scientist at the University Health Network and the University of Toronto. At McGill University, she teaches research methods, supervises graduate students (masters, doctoral, post-doctoral), mentors practicing nurses and students in research, and conducts research in English and French. She has held research awards with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Canadian Cancer Society, and the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer. These awards funded her research in psychosocial oncology, which focuses on developing and testing psychosocial interventions or measurements tools for various cancer populations. Additionally, in partnership with Ipsos Canada and funded by the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer, she is co-leading a nationwide survey of the needs of cancer patients for transition care from the end of their treatment to three years after their diagnosis. Dr. Maheu received awards for excellence in nursing research (2013, 2015, 2016) from Ovarian Cancer Canada, the Canadian Association of Nurses in Oncology, and the Quebec Association of Nurses in Oncology.​
Maureen Parkinson

Maureen Parkinson, MEd, CCRC

Provincial Vocational Rehablitation Counsellor, BC Cancer and Co-Director of Cancer and Work
Ms. Maureen Parkinson is the province-wide vocational rehabilitation counsellor at the BC Cancer. She has also been vocational rehabilitation counsellor at a public rehabilitation hospital and vocational rehabilitation consultant to insurance companies and the court system. She has instructed and facilitated Service-Canada-funded programs on job searching and career exploration. Ms. Parkinson has a Masters in Counselling Psychology, is a Canadian Certified Rehabilitation Counsellor, and completed the Certified Return to Work Coordinator Program through the National Institute for Disability Management and Research. She has developed return-to-work and job-search seminars for cancer patients and created the guidebook “Cancer and Returning to Work: A Practical Guide for Cancer Patients” as well as on-line articles about returning to work and school. She also co-authored a paper commissioned by the Canadian Association of Psychosocial Oncology, “Cancer and Work: A Canadian Perspective”.​

Partially funded by

BC Government
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