People may spend months or years recovering from BMT. Many need flexibility and support from their doctors and employers as they return to work.
Work is important. It helps people connect with their community, improve their self-esteem, earn money and have health insurance.
Researchers wanted to know how transplant centers help people go back to work. So, they surveyed 45 transplant centers worldwide:
- 87% said returning to work is a problem for patients
- 36% have a return-to-work program, such as counseling, videos or printed materials
Staff said ideal return-to-work programs would have:
- Physical therapy
- Job training
- Doctors and nurses working with patients’ employers to create a plan for return-to-work.
Two nonprofit groups have helpful guidelines for people with cancer, doctors and employers:
- Institute for Work and Health (in Canada)
- Anthony Nolan Foundation (in the United Kingdom)
Also, it may help to start planning return-to-work before the transplant and to keep in contact with your employer during the transplant. That way, when you are ready, you have a plan in place to go back to work.