Introduction It is recognised that significant others (SOs) may play an important role in recovery and return-to-work processes of individuals with chronic diseases. However, not much is known about how cognitive behavioural factors of SOs (spouse/partner, family member or friend) influence work outcome of their relative. This systematic review assesses the available evidence on perceptions, beliefs, attitudes and behaviours of SOs related to work outcomes of individuals with chronic diseases.
Methods Relevant articles were identified in PubMed, Embase, PsycINFO, SocINDEX and Web of Science. We included studies reporting on SO factors related to work outcomes (return to work, staying at work, job retention, and work functioning) in working populations with various chronic diseases. A quality assessment was performed, level of evidence was assessed for factors found in quantitative studies, and the evidence was thematically synthesised.
Result Out of 5168 articles, 18 studies were included (15 qualitative and 3 quantitative) of moderate to high quality. Studies were on cancer, chronic pain, brain injuries and mental health disorders. Results show that SOs with a positive and encouraging attitude concerning the disease and its consequences had a positive influence on work outcome of their relatives. Negative illness perceptions and attitudes regarding the disease and its consequences were negatively associated. Additionally, encouraging and motivating behaviour and practical help with activities had a positive association, whereas advising and exerting pressure not to work were negatively associated with work outcome.
Discussion Perceptions, beliefs, attitudes and behaviours of SOs may have a facilitating or obstructing influence on work outcome. Therefore, involving SOs in prevention and intervention strategies may facilitate a positive work outcome of individuals with chronic diseases. More quantitative research is needed to confirm these findings, as the evidence was mostly based on qualitative studies.
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.