Development of a support tool for balancing cancer treatment and work in small and medium-sized enterprises

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<p>Objectives: The purpose of this study was to develop a practical support tool to promote activities for balancing cancer treatment and work in small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and to evaluate its validity and feasibility. Methods: Based on good examples of the support at SMEs from our prior study, researchers discussed the basic structure and details of such a tool and developed its first version. The validity and feasibility were examined in a focus group interview with management experts and a mail survey to human resource (HR) managers in SMEs. The final version of the support tool was prepared based on their opinions. Results: The basic structure of the developed tool comprised two parts: an assessment part for self-checking the degree of balancing treatment and work and an information provision part offering an explanation of the assessment results and tips for improvement. We prepared 24 items for checking six fields that were strongly related to balance activities. Assessment results were displayed in a radar chart so that the strengths and weaknesses of one’s own workplace could be visually determined at a glance. Management experts and HR managers evaluated this tool and found it easy to understand and useful. Conclusion: This tool seems to offer visible assessment of current activities for balancing cancer treatment and work and tips for improvement, resulting in increased motivation of employers and HR managers. We expect that this practical support tool will contribute to promote activities for balancing cancer treatment and work in many workplaces, including SMEs.</p>


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