Exploring self-control of workers with a chronic condition: a qualitative synthesis

A. R. Bosma, C. R.L. Boot, M. De Maaker, H. R. Boeije, L. J. Schoonmade, J. R. Anema, F. G. Schaafsma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Working while having a chronic condition can be challenging. Self-control at work could play an important role for workers with a chronic condition in sustainable work participation. The aim of this qualitative synthesis is to profile elements of self-control at work and to gain insight in its exertion, from the perspective of workers with a chronic condition. Four databases were systematically searched for relevant articles from January 2007 to October 2017 (PubMed, PsycINFO, Embase, and CINAHL). Search terms were related to work, seven prevalent chronic conditions, subjective needs to continue working, and qualitative research. The included articles were thematically analyzed using ATLAS.ti. The search yielded 6,445 articles of which 17 studies were included. Four elements of self-control at work for workers with a chronic condition were identified: disclosure, finding a healthy balance, requesting work accommodations and support, and management of symptoms and limitations in the workplace. These elements of self-control at work for workers with a chronic condition are helpful in developing a strategy for occupational health professionals to support these workers in strengthening their self-control and to facilitate sustainable employment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)653-668
Number of pages16
JournalEuropean Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 3 Sep 2019

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