Oral Presentation Joint 2016 COSA and ANZBCTG Annual Scientific Meeting

Workaftercancer.com.au  – an online resource to support cancer survivors. (#131)

Bogda Koczwara 1 , Suzana Freegard 1 , Ian Olver 2 , Julia Fallon-Ferguson 3 , Vikki Knott 4 , Chris Christensen 5 , Paul Ward 6
  1. Flinders Centre for Innovation in Cancer, Bedford Park, SA, Australia
  2. University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia
  3. The Primary Care Collaborative Cancer Clinical Trials Group, Nedlands, WA, Australia
  4. Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors, Fortitude Valley , Qld, Australia
  5. Cancer Voices SA, Adelaide , SA, Australia
  6. Flinders University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia

Aim: Information and support regarding employment and return to work (RTW) is an important unmet need for cancer survivors and oncology health professionals, as well as others in the community, including employers. The aim of this project was to develop a suite of resources to improve return to work of cancer survivors with particular emphasis on disadvantaged communities.

Methods: The study involved a qualitative examination of the views of stakeholders (patients, carers, health care providers) on the barriers and gaps of support for RTW after cancer with specific focus on disadvantaged communities; a literature review of evidence on the effectiveness of interventions that support RTW; identification and review of existing resources; and an Expert Consensus meeting involving consumers, health, government, employer, business and union representatives.

Results:.  Based on findings of the focus groups, interviews, literature and resource review and Expert Consensus meeting, the a tailored web -based resource was the preferred  modeloption. The resource is customized to different users groups and provides practical resources, including specific tools including lists, templates, check lists and links to existing resources in the area of work after cancer in Australia and internationally. A comprehensive strategy has been developed to support dissemination. 

Conclusion: We have developed a resource to support return to work after cancer that providers tailored information for people with cancer, health care providers and employers. Evaluation of the resource uptake is ongoing.

Supported by Cancer Australia ‘Supporting People with Cancer’ grant initiative.