Assessing the Impact of Cancer on Work Outcomes

Michigan State University, Ист-Лансинг, Michigan, United States
Cancer (Impact Factor: 4.89). 11/2004; 101(8):1703-11. DOI: 10.1002/cncr.20564
Source: PubMed


Cancer may have a major impact on the capacity of survivors to work, with important economic, personal, and social implications. In this commentary, the authors identify six methodologic criteria for evaluating the return-to-work literature for cancer survivors, and they propose a conceptual model to guide future research.

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Available from: Deborah S Main, Jan 26, 2015
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    • "However, even though the attitude of employers and co-workers of cancer survivors has changed during the last decades, many factors may still hinder survivors' successful participation in the work force [19]. Despite the importance of the subject, few studies exist on the impact of cancer and cancer treatment on return to work among a large number of survivors and a population-based reference group [3] [9]. As a result, a collaboration between Nordic countries was considered valuable in order to profit from the experience and knowledge available and also to strengthen our study with an acceptable sample size. "
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    ABSTRACT: To investigate whether employment status and work experiences, assessed in terms of job resources (organizational culture and superiors' and co-workers' support), commitment to organization, work motives, and experiences of discrimination, differ between survivors of prostate or testicular cancer or lymphoma and cancer-free reference subjects. Questionnaires were sent to 1349 male cancer survivors and 2666 referents in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, and Norway. Valid responses were 59% and 45%, respectively. Odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were estimated with logistic regression models. Compared to the referents, survivors of lymphoma and prostate cancer were less likely to be employed (OR=0.53; CI: 0.30-0.95 and OR=0.50; CI: 0.35-0.73, respectively), but decreased employment was not evident among testicular cancer survivors. Testicular cancer survivors experienced less discrimination at work than did the referents, for example, testicular cancer survivors were less likely to report that their colleagues doubted their ability to carry out their work tasks (OR=0.38; CI: 0.17-0.83). Lymphoma survivors were less likely than the referents to praise their workplace as an enjoyable place to work (OR=0.48; CI: 0.26-0.88). The prostate cancer survivors were more likely than the referents to find the organizational climate competitive, distrustful, and suspicious. Employment participation and work experiences of male cancer survivors varied substantially according to type of cancer. Occupational therapists and other health care personnel should keep this in mind when assisting cancer survivors in identifying their strengths and limitations at work.
    Work 09/2013; 46(4). DOI:10.3233/WOR-131674 · 0.52 Impact Factor
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    • "We recommend that future cancer-work studies explore this bidirectional relationship, particularly among women identified as working poor. A longitudinal study, ideally with a large population-based sample, would allow prospective data to be collected at regular points to describe not only treatment decisions and their context, but also important socioecologic, employment, work productivity, and quality-of-life measures.16 A mixed-methods approach, including collection of objective and subjective data, would provide a comprehensive assessment of women's breast cancer and work experience over time, including motivation for continued employment. "
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    ABSTRACT: Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer among women in the United States, costing the healthcare system, employers, and society billions of dollars each year. Despite improvements in screening and treatment, significant breast cancer treatment and survivorship disparities exist among various groups of women. One variable that has not been explored extensively as a possible contributor to breast cancer treatment disparities is employment. This is concerning, given the changing economic and employment trends in the United States favoring low-wage employment. Currently, one-quarter to one-third of all US workers are considered to be working poor, and women are disproportionally represented in this group. Characteristics of low-wage work-limited paid time off, minimal health benefits, schedule inflexibility, and economic insecurity-may become even more significant in the event of a breast cancer diagnosis. To date, there has been limited research into how job conditions inherent to low-wage work may influence working poor survivors' receipt of guideline-recommended breast cancer treatment. Therefore, the purpose of this narrative review was to critically examine the current literature to further our understanding of how employment context may impact treatment decisions and adherence-and therefore receipt of guideline-recommended care-among newly diagnosed, working poor breast cancer survivors. After undertaking a comprehensive review, we failed to identify any published literature that explicitly addressed low-wage employment and receipt of guideline-recommended breast cancer treatment. Four articles reported circumstances where women delayed, missed, or quit treatments due to work interference, or alternatively, developed strategies that allowed them to continue to work and obtain their breast cancer treatment concurrent with medical and economic challenges. An additional five articles, while focused on other cancer and employment outcomes, described the need for increased patient-provider communication about the influence of work on treatment decisions and the development of alternative treatment plans. Due to the paucity of research in this area, future policy, practice, and research efforts should focus on the employment context of working poor breast cancer survivors as a potential contributor to cancer disparities. Engagement of women, employers, oncology providers, healthcare systems, and interdisciplinary researchers is warranted to improve cancer outcomes among this disparate population of working women.
    09/2013; 2(5):75-85. DOI:10.7453/gahmj.2013.046
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    • "Cancer has also been reported to affect psychological health by increasing depression and anxiety [34]. A relatively new avenue of research focuses on the economic and legal issues, particularly the economic sequelae of cancer and cancer treatment on individuals, families, and societies [15, 35, 36]. Cancer survivorship research also includes the promotion of healthy lifestyles and behaviors studying the effects of interventions to reduce smoking, increase physical fitness, and reduce weight [37]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Cancer survivorship research includes the study of physical, psychosocial, and economic consequences of cancer diagnosis and treatment among pediatric and adult cancer survivors. Historically, the majority of cancer survivorship studies were from the United States, but survivorship issues are increasingly being addressed in other developed countries. Cross-cultural studies remain, however, scarce. The degree to which knowledge attained may or may not be transferred across cultures, countries, or regions is not known. Some important challenges for comparative research are therefore discussed in a cross-cultural perspective. Several substantive and methodological challenges that complicate the execution of cross-cultural cancer survivorship research are presented with examples and discussed to facilitate comparative research efforts in the establishment of new survivorship cohorts and in the planning and implementation of survivorship studies. Comparative research is one key to understanding the nature of cancer survivorship, distinguishing modifiable from nonmodifiable factors at individual, hospital, societal, and system levels and may thus guide appropriate interventions. Lastly, suggested future courses of action within the field of comparative cancer survivorship research are provided.
    Journal of Cancer Epidemiology 10/2011; 2011(1687-8558):689025. DOI:10.1155/2011/689025
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