Article Details

Research Database: Article Details

Citation:  Amir, Z., Wynn, P.,Chan, F., Strauser, D., Whitaker, S., & Luker, K. (2010). Return to work after cancer in the UK: Attitudes and experiences of line managers. Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation, 20 (4), 435 - 442.
Title:  Return to work after cancer in the UK: Attitudes and experiences of line managers
Authors:  Amir, Z., Wynn, P.,Chan, F., Strauser, D., Whitaker, S., & Luker, K.
Year:  2010
Journal/Publication:  Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation
Publisher:  Springer Science+Business Media LLC 2009
Full text:   
Peer-reviewed?  Yes
NIDILRR-funded?  No
Research design:  Survey research

Structured abstract:

Background:  More and more people are surviving cancer and returning to work. Little research exists about return to work from the perspective of line managers. A good relationship between the employer and individual with cancer impact successful return to work. Employers and employees with cancer need more support and information to improve return to work outcomes. Research in this area will help determine effective interventions.
Purpose:  The study explored manager attitudes towards employees with cancer. The following three research questions were examined:"Can factors underlying line managers' attitudes toward employees with a cancer diagnosis be empirically identified? Are there meaningful differences among the identified factors based on demographic variables including age, gender, and years of experience managing employees with cancer? Are there differences among the identified factors based on organisation type?
Setting:  The setting was various types of businesses in the United Kingdom.
Study sample:  Three hundred and seventy line mangers completed the survey. Slightly over half were female (51%) and the remainder were male (49%). Most or 69% had worked in the company represented for longer than ten years and a quarter (25%) had managerial responsibility for an employee with cancer at some point in time.
Intervention:  There was no intervention.
Control or comparison condition:  There was no control or comparison condition.
Data collection and analysis:  Data was collected using a brief online survey. Narrative data were thematically analyzed using NVIVO software. The researchers agreed on the following themes: emotional burden, striking the balance between the individual's needs and organisation's needs , attitudes towards employing people with cancer, support from senior management, and skills to cope with these eventualities. This information was used to help develop questions. The result was a questionnaire, where respondents were asked to use a five point Likert type agreement rating scale to rate items related to attitude. This was piloted to 25 line mangers. The final questionnaire included 14 items exploring demographic information and 31 multiple choice questions assessment attitudes and feelings about managing employees with cancer. The survey took about 5 to 10 minutes to complete. Data from the survey was entered into the SPSS 13.0 software for analysis. Factorial structure of attitudes was examined using principal factor axis factor analysis. The Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin Measure of Sampling Adequacy, and Bartlett's Test of Sphericity, Kaiser-Guttman rule and the Cattell's scree test were also used to analyze the data. The demographic and organizational variable on the attitudes of managers was examined using multivariate analysis of variance.
Findings:  Front line managers have positive and negative attitudes about employing and retaining employees with cancer. They did not rate themselves as having fearful attitudes. Favorable attitudes were held related to allowing employees to maintain normalcy. They also had supportive attitudes. However, they was concern that employees might pose burden on management. Managers were neutral about government benefits for employees with cancer.
Conclusions:  Line managers are ambivalent about hiring and retaining people with cancer. This may have significant implications for people with cancer who want to work.

Disabilities served:  Cancer
Populations served:  Gender: Female and Male
Outcomes:  Other