Quality of Working Life Issues of Employees with a Chronic Physical Disease

A Systematic Review
Purpose: To assess issues that contribute to the Quality of Working Life (QWL) of employees with a chronic physical disease. Methods: A systematic literature search was conducted using the databases PubMed, PsycINFO and EMBASE. Experiences and perceptions during the working life of employees with a chronic physical disease were extracted and synthesized into issues that contributed to their QWL. We organized these synthesized QWL issues into higher order themes and categories with qualitative data analysis software. Results: From a total of 4,044 articles identified by the search, 61 articles were included. Data extraction and data synthesis resulted in an overview of 73 QWL issues that were classified into 30 themes. The following five categories of themes were identified: (1) job characteristics with issues such as job flexibility and work-site access; (2) the social structure and environment containing issues about disclosure, discrimination, misunderstanding, and awareness by employers or colleagues; (3) organizational characteristics with issues such as requesting work accommodations; (4) individual work perceptions including issues about enjoyment and evaluating work or life priorities; and (5) effect of the disease and treatment including issues about cognitive and physical health and work ability. Conclusion: This systematic review offers an extensive overview of issues that might contribute to the QWL of employees with a chronic physical disease. This overview may function as a starting point for occupational support, such as monitoring and evaluating the QWL of employees with a chronic physical disease during return-to-work and work continuation processes.

Source: de Jong M; de Boer AG; Tamminga SJ; Frings-Dresen MH, Journal Of Occupational Rehabilitation, 2014, May 16.

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