Toward an occupational rehabilitation policy community for cancer survivors in Singapore: A stakeholder perspective from the SME employers

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9 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Cancer and return to work has been extensively studied in the Western context and yet it has not received much academic attention in Asia. This paper aims to review the current Singapore government rehabilitation initiatives in collaboration with the policy community, identify the socio-environmental barriers to implementing the existing programs for cancer survivors, highlights the demand-side of research development and illustrates the viewpoints of small and medium enterprise employers in Singapore from a recent study. Implications and future directions in developing evidence-based rehabilitation policies and initiatives for cancer survivors in Singapore and the Southeast Asian region are also discussed. Methods: A review of occupational rehabilitation literature relevant to Singapore looking at legislation, policies, initiatives and services was performed. Current state-of-art research in occupational rehabilitation from an employer perspective was also synthesized. Results: Challenges and barriers of adopting the current rehabilitation initiatives and programs for cancer survivors exist largely due to the lack of centralized effort, clear definitions and understanding between people with disabilities, chronic illness and cancer as well as an evidence-based policy community. In addition, too much emphasis on new hiring than retaining in current services and there are no specific guidelines to help employers deal with issues when retaining employees with health history, such as workplace accommodation, appraisal, discrimination and grievance handling. Conclusions: Palpable blind spots in the current occupational rehabilitation system and policy were highlighted in this paper. Coupled with systemic improvements, continuous government resource support and developing an evidence-based policy community between the government, employers, healthcare professionals, industry and community partners and non-profit organizations, a positive change of the rehabilitation initiatives and services is promising.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S77-S85
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Occupational Rehabilitation
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2011

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Occupational Therapy

User-Defined Keywords

  • Cancer survivor
  • Employers
  • Occupational rehabilitation
  • Policy community
  • Stakeholder approach


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