Integrated KNOWledge & coaching service to support people with cancer in How to remain in Or return to Work. | 2 Mers Seas Zeeën


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Integrated KNOWledge & coaching service to support people with cancer in How to remain in Or return to Work.

Priority Axis

Technological and Social Innovation

Specific objective

Social Innovation

Lead partner

Artevelde University College

Start Date


End Date


Project budget

4 130 613

ERDF amount

2 438 412

ERDF rate



    Common challenge

    Improvements in detection and treatment are resulting in increasing numbers of cancer survivors, as survival rates have risen to 70% (1) while mortality rates are dropping (2). As 50% of people diagnosed with cancer are of working age (3), the link between cancer and employment should receive more attention (4). Employment is crucial for people with cancer to fully reintegrate with society, as it provides income, social contact, structure and strengthens feelings of control (5). Research shows that only 62% of people with cancer re-enter the workplace within two years after the diagnosis (1). Cancer patients are 1.4 times more likely to be unemployed than healthy people (6). Currently there is a lack of support for employers and employees are often unable to navigate services that enable them to remain or return to work. I-KNOWHOW will address this by creating new user led services for employers, employees, (para)medical professionals and job coaches.

    Main Achievements

    The added value of the I-KNOW-HOW project is

    1. the focus on early intervention: the return-to-work trajectory starts from the moment the diagnosis is being shared.
    2. the focus on the existing eco-system around the employee with cancer involving different actors: for instance also the health care professional who is able to address the topic of work in a limited manner can play a crucial role in the return-to-work trajectory
    3. the focus on hands-on and easily accessible tools: for instance also a very small company without a HR-department can take steps forward when staring to use the I-KNOW-HOW toolbox.

    At the moment, we reached the stage of having first prototypes of our tools which will be futher cocreated together with stakeholders in the following phase of the project. These tools involve:

    • a website with an interactive information service tool describing the journey of the employee with cancer from the diagnosis till months after the effective return to work. The tool includes both situational and factual knowledge. The user can select the information he/she needs by selecting a specific key moment within that trajectory. The tool is able to offer the right info at the right time.
    • training material and tools for professionals and patient experts and volunteers who might take up the role of job coach (which has been tested by 28 participants until now).
    • a toolbox for employers in order to create a return-to-work policy, adapted to the context of their company.

    The cross border cooperation resulted in a common ground that created the basis for the further development of the tools. In a next stage, adaptations depending on the context of the region will be worked out in detail. But the common ground remains. That is our starting point.

    After the cocreation session with potential end-users with more attention for the regional adaptations in the autumn of 2021, the pilot phase of the final prototypes of our tools will take place in the first half of 2022.



    ZB Planbureau en bibliotheek van Zeeland

    Rother Voluntary Action

    Sterpunt Inclusief Ondernemen vzw

    Hogeschool Zeeland

    The Sara Lee Trust

    Centre Oscar Lambret

    GTB vzw

    Métropole Européenne de Lille