A study comparing 2 types of support for people with cancer who want to continue working or return to work (REJOIN pilot study)

Please note - this trial is no longer recruiting patients. We hope to add results when they are available.

Cancer type:

All cancer types





This study is comparing an information support package with specialist one to one support for people with cancer who wish to work.

We know from research that people with cancer can have significant problems related to their employment. And, that they do not routinely get support to help with these problems. Researchers have found a number of ways to provide help and support, but they don’t know which works best. They would like to try out a service called ‘vocational rehabilitation’ to see if it helps people with cancer.

Vocational rehabilitation is a process that aims to help people to work after illness. This type of service is quite well known in other health conditions such as back pain and arthritis. But it is not widely available to people with cancer. Researchers in this study want to see if an intervention called REJOIN has any benefits compared to the package of information and support people get at the moment.

The aim of this pilot study is to find out how best to support people with cancer who want to work. You may not get any direct benefit from taking part, but the information will be used to develop services to help people with cancer.

Who can enter

You may be able to enter this study if you

  • Have been diagnosed with any cancer in the last 6 months
  • Had a job when you were diagnosed
  • Have any worries or difficulties regarding employment, or a health professional looking after you has spotted a possible work problem
  • Are being cared for by doctors at one of the hospitals involved in the study
  • Are between 18 and 65 years old

You cannot enter this study if you have decided not to go back to work.

Trial design

This pilot study will recruit about 100 people. If promising the results will help researchers develop a larger trial. Everyone taking part will fill out a questionnaire and return it to the study team by post. The questionnaire takes up to 30 minutes to complete, and asks  

  • For information about your job
  • How your diagnosis Open a glossary item has affected your work
  • About any symptoms you have, such as tiredness or anxiety

The next part of the pilot study is randomised. The people taking part will be put into one of 2 groups by a computer. Neither you nor your doctor will be able to decide which group you are in.

If you are in group 1, the team will send you some information called the Macmillan information and support package. This is a collection of work support booklets and leaflets. They will also give you links to work support resources on the Macmillan website, and the details for the Macmillan helpline.

If you are in group 2, you have one to one REJOIN support from a specially trained occupational therapist, physiotherapist or cancer nurse specialist. They will work out the right level of support for you. The intervention is expected to take up to about 6 hours, spread over as many weeks as you need. You can have your support face to face or over the telephone.

REJOIN pilot study diagram

Both groups will fill out more questionnaires to help the team see how things have changed over time. You fill these out at

  • 3 months
  • 6 months
  • A year after you joined the study

The team will also ask about 20 people to have an interview at about 3 months into the study. You will discuss your experience of the support you have had. The interview will last between 30 and 60 minutes, and with your permission will be audio recorded.

The team will treat the information from you anonymously, so no one will be able to link the results to you.

Hospital visits

If you are in group 2, or have the interview at 3 months, your study appointments will be at a time and place convenient to you.

Side effects

It is possible that taking part in the interview may remind you of events that have been difficult. If you become distressed during the interview the team will stop it if you wish. They will either talk this over with you at the time, or arrange for you to see someone you feel comfortable with, such as your cancer specialist nurse.

Recruitment start:

Recruitment end:

How to join a clinical trial

Please note: In order to join a trial you will need to discuss it with your doctor, unless otherwise specified.

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Chief Investigator

Dr Gail Eva

Supported by

NIHR Clinical Research Network: Cancer
NIHR Fellowships Programme
University College London (UCL)

Questions about cancer? Contact our information nurses

Freephone 0808 800 4040

Last review date

CRUK internal database number:

Oracle 10635

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Over 60,000 cancer patients enrolled on clinical trials in the UK last year.

Last reviewed:

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