The majority of patients treated for cancer face the complex challenge of reintegrating themselves professionally, during or after cancer treatment. There is an obvious need for interventions that facilitates professional reintegration. This study is a quantitative analysis of factors associated with probability to return to work, as a basis for guidelines for interventions in this respect.
A multicenter questionnaire study was initiated in two cancer centers enabling the recruitment of 104 patients (NOLV Aalst = 39; NGZA Antwerp= 65; sexe: male = 12, female = 92; M Age = 48.41). Professionally active patients were selected between 18 and 58 years of age, 8-10 months after cancer diagnosis with curative purpose and without signs of relapse. Through binary logistic regression the predictive value of work attitude, the experienced support from colleagues and supervisors, self-efficacy, perceived positive and negative social interactions, fatigue, anxiety and depression on whether or not to work 8 to 10 months after diagnosis were examined. Statistical analyzes were made with SPSS 21.
From the results the imported model shows a significant predictive value (χ2 (12) = 64.56, p
The observation that more positive social interactions are perceived negatively related to return to work, seems counterintuitive, but might be related to a high level of protection by social interactions. In addition, the higher level of anxiety in working patients may be related to experiencing difficulties in returning to work and the associated tensions in a working environment, which entailed by the resumption of multiple social roles. While future research is needed to further clarify these relationships, the results suggest that interventions for return to work best take into account both physical and psychosocial factors. The results also contributed to the development of a hospital-wide health care program in cooperation with government authorities for employment.
Clinical trial identification
Legal entity responsible for the study
Dr. Nathalie Adam
Stichting tegen Kanker
All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.