BANNING M. (2011) European Journal of Cancer Care20, 708–719
Employment and breast cancer: a meta-ethnography
The purpose of this synthesis is to examine the qualitative evidence on the lived experience of breast cancer survivors in relation to return to work. An in-depth search of the literature was undertaken from 1999 until July 2010. Ten relevant papers emerged that reflected the aims of the synthesis. A meta-ethnographic approach was used to synthesise papers. Four concepts emerged that reflected the return to work, these included influencing factors, sickness absence, work ability and work-related problems and experiences of return to work. Further synthesis of concepts led to the development of four final interpretations. These included breast cancer and employment, treatment-induced physical impairment, employer comprehension of breast cancer and fear of work-related failure. These interpretations indicate that employers need to be educated on the work capabilities of cancer survivors post treatment. Improved support facilities are needed for cancer survivors which are supported by European employment legislation and guidance offered by company occupational health departments. Moreover, health care professionals could become more involved in the education of breast cancer patients with regard to the timing of returning to work.