In what is described as a world-first, CancerAid and AIA Australia have published research which demonstrates how a digital health program significantly improves return-to-work outcomes for cancer survivors.
The CancerAid program is being offered to all of AIA Australia’s life insurance customers who have notified that they intend to lodge an IP claim and are having treatment for cancer.
A statement from the insurer says that in Australia approximately 45 percent of cancer diagnoses occur in people of working age and due to improvements in medicine, survivorship is increasing.
However, while a person may recover from cancer, they may experience physical and/or psychological challenges which can hinder their return to work and wellbeing.
The research study undertaken by AIA Australia and CancerAid was conducted over three years and found:
- 30.4 percent of participants in the CancerAid Coach Program returned to work over a median 12-month period, compared to 17.6 percent in the control group. This outcome means patients in the program were 73 percent more likely to return to work
- 39 percent of patients in the program reported improvement of their symptoms
- The program has also demonstrated a shortening in the time to return-to-work by 22 percent, which means that patients were returning to work on average 16.5 weeks earlier than patients receiving usual care
The CancerAid Coach Program consists of an online e-health app, a series of weekly messages, via email and text, and telephone health coaching sessions delivered over a 12-week period.
…The program takes a holistic view and reinforces key health messages…
“The program takes a holistic view and reinforces key health messages on appropriate symptom tracking, exercise, diet, mindfulness, and sleep strategies and allows patients to monitor their condition,” the statement says.
AIA Australia told Riskinfo that the CancerAid program is offered proactively to all of its life insurance customers who have notified that they intend to lodge an income protection claim and are having treatment for cancer.
It says the program is offered to customers within five days of the notification of their claim. Customers are able to self-enrol digitally into the program and AIA case managers also speak to customers and offer the free program.
The company adds that AIA has used behavioural science strategies to increase the number of customers who choose to engage with the program digitally, as it wants to support its customers as early into their cancer journey as possible.
CEO and Managing Director of AIA Australia and New Zealand, Damien Mu says that seeing the results from this research “…fills us with a strong sense of hope for cancer survivors. We’re honored to have been able to support this research that will help them thrive after they recover.”