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Wellbeing: A Complete Reference Guide, Volume III, Work and Wellbeing by Peter Chen, Cary Cooper

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Chapter 10

Cancer, Work, and the Quality of Working Life

A Narrative Review

Tom Cox

Birkbeck, University of London, U.K.

Sara MacLennan and James N'Dow

University of Aberdeen, U.K.

Overview

Much of the research published in occupational health psychology on the relationship between work and health has a negative focus on the alleged detrimental effects of work on employee health (for a variety of reviews, see, for example, Cox, 1993; Cox, Griffiths, & Rial-Gonzalez, 2000; Michie, 2002; Michie & Williams, 2003; Quinlan, Mayhew, & Bohle, 2001; Sparks & Cooper, 1997). However, this perspective represents only one interpretation of the dynamic relationship between work and health, which is central to the definition of both occupational health and occupational health psychology (Cox, Baldurrson, & Rial-Gonzalez, 2000). There are other perspectives, including one that considers the role of work and working life in relation to the management of chronic ill health. This encompasses issues such as the nature and management of sickness absence (e.g., Collins et al., 2005; Kivimäki et al., 1997; Munir, Yarker, & Haslam, 2008), the challenges of a return to work after injury or illness (e.g., Feuerstein, 1991; Franche & Krause, 2002), and the impact of working on the quality of life of those with chronic ill health (e.g., Dongen, 1996; Silver, 1982). In the case of life-threatening chronic illness, there is also the question of the role that work can play in the quality of survival (Silver, ...

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