Abstract description: Cancer has recently become a more recognized health consequence of firefighting. Firefighters are a population that face many physical and psychosocial challenges as a result of their career and are a population that need attention going forward to face these challenges. The cancer treatment and recovery process is unique for each individual, but has certain commonalities that influence work performance. This research describes the individual insights into the experience of firefighters who had undergone cancer treatments and how these treatments affected their ability to complete their work occupations. To accomplish this, semi structured interviews were conducted with three individuals who were recruited using a convenience sample. These interviews were then transcribed verbatim and coded to find the key themes describing the experiences of the participants. Three themes that arose from the data were: Work performance of the firefighters was impacted in different ways depending on the treatments they had undergone, experiences while firefighting were connected to cancer diagnoses, and psychosocial factors influenced participants in their ability to complete their work occupations. An application to health care practice was described including recommendations for coping with cancer treatments, modifications to worker tasks, and finding alternative work-related activities during treatment.

Semester/Year of Award

Spring 2019


Julie Baltisberger

Mentor Professional Affiliation

Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy

Access Options

Restricted Access Thesis

Document Type

Bachelor Thesis

Degree Name

Honors Scholars

Degree Level



Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy

Department Name when Degree Awarded

Occupational Therapy

IRB Approval Number (if applicable)