Physical symptoms and components of labor tasks associated with upper limb disability among working breast cancer survivors
Each year, the number of breast cancer (BC) cases increases in Brazil and worldwide. In addition, BC affects women of working age who need to resume their jobs after treatments. This is an observational, cross-sectional study that investigated the association of physical symptoms and work tasks with upper limb disability and return to work in BC survivors.
Sociodemographic, labor, clinical and surgical aspects, and physical incapacity of the upper limbs of 62 women diagnosed with BC were evaluated through a questionnaire of our own and the disability of the arm, shoulder, and hand (DASH) questionnaire. The data were analyzed by the IBM Statistical Package for Social Sciences SPSS version 20.0 and a significance of p < 0.05 was adopted. Logistic regression and odds ratio were used to verify the level of association between work tasks and pain with return to work, and multiple linear regression verified the association of physical symptoms with upper limb functionality.
The work tasks associated with non-return to work were raising objects above the head (OR 3.64, 95% CI 1.26–10.51), lifting objects of more than 5 kg (OR 2.88, 95% CI 1.02–8.13), and loading objects of more than 5 kg (OR 3.93; 95% CI 1.14–10.07). The pain in the upper quadrant homologous to the surgery explained 64% of the variance in physical incapacity of the upper limbs.
There is an association of labor tasks that require upper limb strength and range of motion with non-return to work, and also pain in the upper quadrant homologous to the BC with reduction in the functionality of the upper limbs.
KeywordsBreast neoplasms Return to work Rehabilitation Disability and health Upper extremity Pain measurement
This study was financed in part by the Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento Pessoal de Nível Superior—Brazil (CAPES)—Finance Code 001.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Research involving human participants
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. This study approval was granted by the Ethics Committee from Santa Catarina State University, under Protocol number 50685415.4.0000.0118.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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