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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    • "Indeed, work is considered to be the third most important priority in areas of life affected by a longstanding illness, following ability to get out and about, and social life/leisure activities (Bowling, 1995). Despite work's importance, discontinuation and resumption of employment has not been studied sufficiently, especially in the context of extended and long-term survivorship (Steiner et al., 2004; Mehnert, 2011). There is a need to investigate the factors that facilitate and inhibit the uptake and retention of employment in order to increase our understanding about labor participation among CS (Spelten et al., 2002; Taskila & Lindbohm, 2007) and to assist health care professionals and employers to develop effective interventions to meet the needs of CS (Mehnert, 2011; Grunfeld, Rixon, Eaton, & Cooper, 2008). "
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    ABSTRACT: Employment issues for cancer survivors (CS) were investigated from the perspective of Northern Ireland government general employment advisors. An e-survey was designed and developed based on the results of a scoping search of journal articles, previously validated questionnaires and relevant related surveys; discussions of draft versions of the e-survey and method with lead representatives of stakeholder organisations; and a pilot study with seven prospective respondents. The e-survey and subsequent reminder to employment advisors were distributed internally by the government employment advisory agency. The e-survey was completed by 78/156 (50%) advisors, the majority of whom (74%) received a request for advice in the last year from at least one CS. Most CS used the employment service less than one year (52%) or one year or more after treatment (32%). Fatigue was the most commonly reported barrier to returning to work (10%) and staying in work (14%); and a supportive employer was the top facilitating factor in returning to (21%), and continuing in (27%), employment. Although most advisors had a positive attitude about a CS's capacity to return-to-work, half were uncertain about how best to advise cancer survivors.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2015 · Journal of Psychosocial Oncology
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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.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2013 · Work
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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.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2013
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