Assessment of fitness to work

  1. Assessment including:


Examination – focus on addressing physical consequences of cancer diagnosis and treatment

Psychological issues – especially anxiety and depression and motivational factors

Social factors including family support, attitudes of co-workers and employer and social security, insurance and superannuation issues.

An understanding of the work demands is important to facilitate a return to work

  1. Management including:

 Communication –Early, with active participation of the patient and employer

Certification, including activity and return to work advice

Explanation and reassurance

Return to work plan and plan for further treatment including allowance for time for ongoing medical appointments etc.

Emphasize physical reconditioning and treatment of any identified psychological barriers

  1. Implementation of a stepped care approach with review of progress against expectations

 Apply simple low intensity measures with progressive stepping up of hours and duties

  1. Further/follow up assessments including:

 Understanding the worker’s perceptions about their disease, its prognosis and their own capacity for work

Physical and psychological progress issues following a partial resumption of work activities

Workplace environmental, psychosocial and personal factors which may have emerged

  1. Modify the management plan and assessment approach depending on progress:

 Ongoing communication at the work place can positively influence early outcomes and identify relevant issues

Actively managing a return to work process with a practical problem solving framework can enhance early return to work and facilitate progressive improvement

Identifying and actively managing risk factors associated with poor outcomes can assist with return to work

  1. Input from other professionals as needed.