Rising survival rates combined with an increasing retirement age have resulted in a total of almost 300,000 cancer survivors of working age in the Netherlands (18-66 years) in 2018. About one third of all survivors are not able to re-integrate and experience involuntary unemployment or work disability due to cancer. This group is the most vulnerable at the labour market, which introduces social inequality and exclusion. For these vulnerable cancer survivors who lost employment, but want to work, (re-)entry to work is complicated and difficult due to a large distance to the labour market, potential employer stigmatisation, and absence of work support. However, work-related interventions are missing for these cancer survivors who are at risk of social exclusion.

Individual Placement and Support (IPS) helps people without employment to achieve steady, meaningful and paid employment. IPS places people in employment first, and subsequently supports them at work. IPS has been very successful and has repeatedly shown its effectiveness for paid employment re-entry in vulnerable patient groups, including persons with severe mental illnesses and patients with spinal cord injury. Therefore, IPS has great potential to also support cancer survivors, who involuntary became unemployed or work disabled due to cancer, back to paid employment. The impact is that cancer survivors who return to work will experience better health, higher quality of life and fewer financial problems.

The aim of this project is to develop an Individual Placement and Support (IPS) intervention, tailored to cancer survivors experiencing unemployment or work disability, and to evaluate its (cost-)effectiveness on paid employment re-entry.
Short titleIPS and cancer
Effective start/end date01/09/202131/08/2025

    Research areas

  • Cancer survivors, return to work, vulnerable groups, unemployment, work disability, Individual placement and support, randomized controlled trial


ID: 24075883