Work after prostate cancer: a systematic review

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Journal of Cancer Survivorship




School of Medical and Health Sciences




McLennan, V., Ludvik, D., Chambers, S., & Frydenberg, M. (2019). Work after prostate cancer: a systematic review. Journal of Cancer Survivorship, 13(2), 282-291. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11764-019-00750-4


Purpose: Research in the field of vocational rehabilitation, specifically for prostate cancer, remains rare despite increasing recognition of the role of vocational interventions in other cancer groups. The aim of this review was to compile and evaluate current trends, facilitators and barriers associated with returning to work after a prostate cancer diagnosis. Method: The literature search was conducted in March 2018 using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. Forty-seven original research papers published in English in peer-reviewed journals were identified. The included studies comprised a total of 20,083 prostate cancer patients with a mean age of 61 years. Results: The studies implied a good overall return to work prognosis in prostate cancer patients; however, these findings are not generalisable to those with physically demanding or low paid jobs, comorbid conditions or poor physical functioning. Conclusion: The limited research investigating the long-term implications of prostate cancer indicates that there may be problems related to job retention and early unwanted retirement. Facilitators and barriers to employment after prostate cancer are identified and implications for vocational interventions and further research are discussed. Implications for Cancer Survivors: This review helps to shed light on the barriers and facilitators to employment among prostate cancer survivors, as well as the need for further research and development in vocational rehabilitation interventions for this population.



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