An integrative review: Women’s psychosocial vulnerability in relation to paid work after a breast cancer diagnosis

Halia Melnyk, Maja Djukic, John Merriman, Victoria Vaughan Dickson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Aim: The aim of this integrative review was to explore psychosocial vulnerabilities in women after a breast cancer diagnosis that are related to their paid work. Design: The review methodology was guided by Whittemore and Knafl. The Mehnert Cancer Survivorship and Work Model provided a lens through which to view vulnerability in working women with a focus on facilitating interventions to improve both recovery and work outcomes. Data Sources: PUBMED, CINAHL, Web of Science, and PsycNET databases were searched for English language papers published between January 2014–June 2020. Review Methods: Titles and abstracts were screened. Inclusion/exclusion criteria were then applied to full text screen of the remaining articles following PRISMA guidelines. Thirteen studies meeting the inclusion criteria were critically appraised using the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP) checklist. A constant comparison approach was used to systematically distil findings into categories and assess their fit within the Mehnert Model subdomains. Results: Vulnerabilities coalesced predominantly within the following subdomains: (a) changes in identity and role functioning; (b) social reintegration; (c) coping strategies; and (d) social supports. Patterns and themes within these subdomains were related both positively and negatively to form the contours of a survivor's satisfaction/dissatisfaction with quality of life related to work and breast cancer recovery. Conclusion: Overall, findings highlight the importance of employment and work environments in bolstering women's psychosocial health after a breast cancer diagnosis. Impact: Findings from this review support adapting psychosocial distress screening to include vulnerabilities relating to work life. Nurses are ideally positioned to facilitate this screening and engage clinicians in a dialogue surrounding patient's support needs due to nursing's central role on the interdisciplinary team. Nurses may also foster collective accountability for implementing ongoing multidisciplinary survivorship care plans that include a return to work component.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2144-2154
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Advanced Nursing
Volume77
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2021

Keywords

  • breast cancer
  • employment
  • integrative review
  • nursing
  • psychosocial health
  • quality of life
  • return to work
  • survivorship
  • women
  • women's health
  • working

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'An integrative review: Women’s psychosocial vulnerability in relation to paid work after a breast cancer diagnosis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this