Return to work experiences of employed women with breast cancer in Trinidad

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Mohammed, Maureen
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Abstract This qualitative study explored the experiences of employed women with breast cancer. The narrative approach using Frank’s (1995) illness types and the feminist perspective were applied in looking at the women’s diversity of experiences and meanings. Purposive sampling was used to recruit women aged 30-49 (n=8) who continued working during treatment and after treatment ended. Face to face, semi-structured interviews were conducted. The findings discovered that all the women got reasonable accommodations; work environment was supportive; and the majority was successful in returning to work despite treatment challenges. Two separated participants reported being locked into job because of medical insurance and discrimination. Concerns identified were: More support from health care professionals, information, dietary, counselling and the need to be listened to. This study can help social workers and other health care professionals to review their roles in supporting women who return to work and in managing the cancer experience.
Qualitative, Narrative, Employed women, Breast cancer, Feminist, Return to work, Support