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Experiences of work for people living with a grade 2/3 oligodendroglioma: a qualitative analysis within the Ways Ahead study

Lookup NU author(s): Ben RimmerORCiD, Dr Lizzie Dutton, Dr Tracy Finch, Professor Vera Araujo-SoaresORCiD, Professor Linda Sharp



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0).


© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2023. Re-use permitted under CC BY-NC. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ. OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to explore the work experiences of people living with an oligodendroglioma. DESIGN: This was a descriptive qualitative study. One-time semi-structured interviews exploring supportive care needs were conducted; work was discussed at various points throughout each interview. An inductive thematic analysis was undertaken. SETTING: Participants were recruited across the UK through four National Health Service hospitals and the Brain Tumour Charity research involvement networks. PARTICIPANTS: 19 people with grade 2 or 3 oligodendroglioma (mean age 52 years; male n=11). At diagnosis, 16 participants were working, 2 studying and 1 retired. At the interview (mean time since diagnosis 9.6 years; range 1-18 years), seven participants were working, eight retired (four on medical grounds) and four unable to work due to illness. RESULTS: Seven themes were constructed: (1) physical and cognitive limitations; (2) work ability and productivity; (3) work accommodations; (4) changing roles; (5) attitudes of clients and coworkers; (6) feelings and ambitions; and (7) financial implications. Fatigue, seizures and cognitive deficits influenced work ability. A stressful work environment could exacerbate symptoms. Changes in job roles and work environment were often required. Employer and coworker support were integral to positive experiences. Work changes could result in financial stress and strain. CONCLUSIONS: This study has highlighted, for the first time, influences on work experiences in this understudied population. These findings have implications for clinicians and employers, when considering the importance of work in rehabilitation for people with oligodendrogliomas, and the individually assessed adjustments required to accommodate them, should employment be desired.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Walker H, Rimmer B, Dutton L, Finch T, Gallagher P, Lewis J, Burns R, Araújo-Soares V, Williams S, Sharp L

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: BMJ Open

Year: 2023

Volume: 13

Issue: 9

Online publication date: 28/09/2023

Acceptance date: 07/09/2023

Date deposited: 09/10/2023

ISSN (print): 2044-6055

ISSN (electronic): 2044-6055

Publisher: BMJ Publishing Group


DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2023-074151

PubMed id: 37770270


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Funder referenceFunder name
GN-000435The Brain Tumour Charity