Cancer survivors report a gap in work integration advice from healthcare professionals. This occurs despite physicians routinely providing comment upon survivors’ work abilities to insurers and employers. In order to understand the phenomena of survivors’ work integration from physicians’ perspectives, a vignette methodology was used. Vignettes were chosen as a means to explore physicians’ perspectives in a non-confrontational and sensitive manner. Vignettes, composed of photographs and narratives reflective of survivors’ lived experiences of work integration were presented to 10 physicians during individual interviews. In this manuscript, I outline my experience using vignettes, the learning I have achieved, and the modifications I intend to make before again similarly using vignettes with another stakeholder group. In this study, receptive participants expressed enjoyment of the real-life nature of the vignettes through which significant insights into the phenomena were successfully gleaned. In this case, vignettes were an effective means to sensitively explore physicians’ perspectives of cancer survivors’ work integration. Yet, considerations that I will undertake prior to the next stakeholder inquiry include incorporating findings from the physicians and modifying the presentation of survivors’ findings to be more applicable to that next stakeholder, reconsidering the number of vignettes used as well as the terminology and delivery mechanism, and refinement of questioning format


Vignette Methodology, Physicians’ Perspectives, Cancer Survivorship, Return to Work

Author Bio(s)

Tricia L. Morrison has been an occupational therapist for more than twenty years. She is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Ottawa, Faculty of Health Sciences. Her current research foci blend her clinical expertise with her research interests. Dr. Morrison’s research is focussed in the area of cancer survivorship and uses a variety of qualitative research methods. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: Tricia L. Morrison, at 451 Smyth Road (3071) Ottawa, ON, K1H 8M5; TMorris2@uOttawa.ca; Phone: 613-821-0911; Fax: 613-821-3761

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