Location: Dinwoodie 1 and 2, Cicely Saunders Institute, Denmark Hill Campus
Work is an important – but neglected – issue in palliative care
Speaker: Dr Gail Eva, Brunel University
Abstract: As people are referred for palliative care earlier, more are likely to be in employment and may wish to continue to work while able to do so. However, little attention is given to employment issues in palliative care – in research as well as practice and policy – resulting a limited understanding of people’s needs. In this talk I will present qualitative data from two studies which examined work support for people with advanced cancer. Work was a source of competence, normality, legacy and distraction. Continuing to work entailed negotiating workplace adjustments with employers, often with little support. If withdrawing from work, loss of role could have a significant impact on identity; these participants reported a need for advocacy related to financial settlements and also help to identify replacement occupations. I will draw both on participants’ experience and the wider literature on work support in cancer to make some recommendations for research and practice.
About the speaker: Gail studied occupational therapy at the University of Cape Town, and for the past 25 years has worked in Oxford and London in a variety of clinical, managerial, educational and research roles in cancer and palliative care rehabilitation. Her PhD work at the University of Stirling focussed on patients’ conceptions of disability in the context of life limiting illness, and her post-doctoral work UCL examined vocational rehabilitation in cancer.