Project Details

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Dr Catherine Steele

Project area or title

Exploring the use of behavioural interventions on the experience of managing cancer in the workplace


Working age people now make up 1/3 of people living with a cancer diagnosis. Previous studies have shown that 50% of those diagnosed with cancer have to make significant changes to their job with 40% changing role post diagnosis. We also know that cancer survivors are more likely to be unemployed than the general population. In previous research cancer survivors have reported feeling unsupported and experiencing stress and anxiety as a result of managing their health concerns and the requirements of their employment.
There is also a spillover effect to caregivers whereby those caring for a cancer patient experience high levels of stress and burnout and some research suggests that cancer rates in caregivers is higher than in the general population. It is estimated that 70% of unpaid carers in the UK are also in employment.
This project will look at the role of behavioural interventions such as individual and group health coaching aimed at improving quality of life in the experience of cancer survivors and their caregivers in the workplace. Health coaching research is growing with 464 clinical trial studies incorporating health coaching as an intervention in the US in the year 2022-23. Previous research shows that health coaching has been effective in reducing pain and fatigue in cancer patients. Similarly, the behavioural changes made by patients as a result of health coaching have been shown to improve general mental health, quality of life and other psychosocial outcomes.


Common Mental Health (covering anxiety, depression)


University of Leicester

Specific Project Eligibility