Return to work in European Cancer survivors: a systematic review

Sara Paltrinieri, Stefania Fugazzaro, Lucia Bertozzi, Maria Chiara Bassi, Martina Pellegrini, Massimo Vicentini, Elisa Mazzini, Stefania Costi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Return to work (RTW) of cancer survivors (CSs) fluctuates in different contexts. This systematic review searched for recent data on the RTW rate of CSs in Europe, investigating associated factors. Methods: Bibliographic search covered the period from January 2010 to February 2018, with no language restrictions. European population-based studies assessing RTW rate after cancer diagnosis were included. We excluded studies focusing on a specific cancer diagnosis. Results: Twelve observational studies were selected. The cohorts investigated included 280 to 46,720 individuals from Northwestern and Central Europe diagnosed with cancer from 1987 to 2010. The median interval between diagnosis and documented RTW was 2 years (0.2–23.4 years). RTW rates of CSs ranged from 39 to 77%. RTW of individuals employed at the time of diagnosis ranged from 60 to 92%, the latter registered in a sample with good prognosis. Personal factors, work-related factors, and cancer-related factors were all associated with RTW. Healthcare team interventions facilitated reintegration to work. Conclusions: Data from Mediterranean and Central European countries are urgently needed to understand whether RTW is an issue for CSs there as well and whether socio-rehabilitative interventions are required to mitigate the potential negative impact of cancer on individuals and society.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalSupportive Care in Cancer
Publication statusAccepted/In press - May 29 2018


  • Europe
  • Neoplasms
  • Return to work
  • Sick leave
  • Survivors
  • Systematic review literature

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology

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