A study of work changes due to cancer in tumor-free primary-treated cancer patients. A NOCWO study
- 206 Downloads
Goals of work
The goal of this study is to explore the characteristics of tumor-free cancer survivors (CSs) who after their primary treatment were still working but made work changes due to cancer and compare them to survivors who did not.
Patients and methods
The sample consisted of 431 CSs (219 females with breast cancer, 212 males with testicular (N = 150) or prostate cancer (N = 62)) diagnosed 2–6 years prior to the study. All CSs had good prognosis and had returned to work after primary treatment. All CSs filled in a mailed questionnaire covering demography, morbidity, life style, mental distress, fatigue, quality of life and job strain.
Seventy-two CSs (17%) had made work changes due to cancer during the observation period, and 359 (83%) had not. Among CSs who made work changes, significantly more were females; they showed significantly poorer physical and mental work ability, worked fewer hours per week, reported more comorbidity, and had lower physical and mental quality of life and more neuroticism, compared to the nonchange group. Work changes were moderately correlated with current work ability.
The majority of CSs did not report any work changes due to cancer during the 2–6-year observation period, which is an encouraging finding. A minority had done work changes, and this group consisted mainly of women and was also characterized by poorer physical and mental quality of life and poorer mental work ability due to cancer. The issue of work changes and work ability should be considered in the follow-up of cancer survivors.
KeywordsCancer Oncology Work situation Cancer survivors Work change
- 3.Bradley CJ, Bednarek HL (2002) Employment patterns of long-term cancer survivors. Psychooncology 11:88–98Google Scholar
- 6.Cancer Registry of Norway, Institute of Population-based Cancer Research (2006) Cancer in Norway 2005. Cancer Registry of Norway, Institute of Population-based Cancer Research, OsloGoogle Scholar
- 8.Erikson R, Goldtorpe JH (1992) The constant flux. A study of class mobility in industrial societies. Clarendon, OxfordGoogle Scholar
- 16.Ilmarinen J, Tuomi K (2004) Past, present and future of work ability. In: Ilmarinen J, Lehtinen S (eds) Past, present and future of work ability. People and work, research reports 65. Finnish Institute of Occupational Health Finland, Helsinki, pp 1–25Google Scholar
- 18.Karaksek RA (1985) Job content instrument: questionnaire and user’s guide. University of South California, Los AngelesGoogle Scholar
- 20.Krokstad S, Westin S (2002) Health inequalities by socioeconomic status among men in the Nord–Trøndelag Health Study, Norway. Scan J Public Health 30:113–124Google Scholar
- 21.Lipsey MW, Wilson DB (2001) Practical meta-analysis. Sage, Thousand OaksGoogle Scholar
- 22.Nordic Council of Minister (2006) Nordic Statistical Yearbook 2006, Nord 2006: 1. Nordic Council of Ministers, CopenhagenGoogle Scholar
- 23.Office for National Statistic (2000) Standard occupational classification 2000 (SOC2000). http://www.statistics.gov.uk/methods_quality/ns_sec/soc2000.asp
- 30.Short PF, Vasey JJ, BeLue R (2007) Work disability associated with cancer survivorship and other chronic conditions. Psychooncology 17:91–97Google Scholar
- 31.Sloan JA, Vargas-Chanas KCC, Sargent DJ, Novotny P, Athertum P, Allmer C, Fridley L, (2003) Detecting worms, ducks, and elephants: A simple approach for defining clinically relevant effects in quality-of-life measures. J Cancer Integr Med 1:41–47Google Scholar
- 34.Steiner JF, Cavender TA, Main DS, Bradley CJ (2005) Assessing the impact of cancer on work outcomes. What are the research needs? Cancer 8:1703–1711Google Scholar
- 35.Steiner JF, Cavender TA, Nawels CT, Beaty BL, Bradley CJ et al (2007) The impact of physical and psychosocial factors on work characteristic after cancer. Psychooncology 17:138–147Google Scholar
- 43.Tuomi K, Ilmarinen J, Jahkola A, Katajarinne L, Tulkki A (1998) Work ability index 2nd edition. Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, FinlandGoogle Scholar