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

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Cancer type:

All cancer types

Status:

Results

Phase:

Pilot

This study looked at specialist one to one support for people with cancer who would like to work.

More about this trial

People with cancer can find it difficult if they want to carry on working, or return to work after treatment. Some people need more support. As treatments are improving and people are living longer, this is becoming more of an issue.
 
Researchers wanted to see if they could develop and test a support package for people in this situation. They called this REJOIN – rehabilitation for job and occupational independence.
 
The compared the REJOIN system with the standard information and support people got at the time.
 
The aims of this feasibility study were to:
  • plan and deliver a new support package
  • train relevant members of the health care team to provide extra support
  • find out if people want to take part in a study looking at this sort of support

Summary of results

The research team were able to develop an online training system to help health care professionals support people who want to go back to work after treatment for cancer.
 
This trial was open for people to join between 2013 and 2015. 
 
Results
The research team recruited 60 patients and 22 health care professionals from 8 hospitals to take part in this study. 
 
They ran training sessions for the health care professionals (HCPs). But it was often difficult for the HCPs to get time away from work to attend sessions. So the team developed an online training programme with telephone support instead.
 
The patients taking part were put into 1 of 2 groups at random:
  • 30 people had standard care
  • 30 people had REJOIN support

People in the standard care group had support which included information on work and cancer from Macmillan Cancer Support.

People in the REJOIN group had a programme of support developed by the research team. It had several steps to make it easier for health care professionals to help people who want to go back to work.

Discuss issues. It’s important to talk about people’s specific situation, as different people have different issues and concerns.
 
Set goals. People need goals that are personal to them, their health and their work situation.
 
Develop interventions. There are several things that need to be taken into account when working out how best to support people. They vary from person to person. 
 
They include:
  • functional capacity – problems with things like fatigue, memory or physical ability
  • psychosocial issues – issue with confidence, relationships at work or coping with emotional situations
  • physical space – modifications to furniture, tools or other aspects of the workplace
  • work – possible need to change hours or level of responsibility 
  • employers – helping people negotiate changes, and helping employers understand what people need when returning to work after cancer treatment
  • legal advice – help with legal issues and providing contacts for more support if necessary
  • changing jobs – helping people leave their job, or move to another job, if that is better for them
Review. It’s important to see how well things are going and change things if necessary.
 
The researchers don’t have results comparing how well the 2 different methods worked yet. We hope to update this page when this information is available.
 
Conclusion
The research team developed a process for health care professionals to follow, to help people with cancer go back to work.
 
This process is now part of another study called SURECAN which is looking at quality of life after cancer treatment.
 
Where this information comes from
We have based this summary on information from the research team.  As far as we are aware, the information they sent us has not been reviewed independently (peer reviewed Open a glossary item) or published in a medical journal yet. The figures we quote above were provided by the research team. We have not analysed the data ourselves.

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:

10635

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

Cara took part in a clinical trial

A picture of Cara

"I am glad that taking part in a trial might help others on their own cancer journey.”

Last reviewed:

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