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Thomson MD , Siminoff LA
Managing work and cancer treatment: Experiences among survivors of hematological cancer
Cancer. 2018 Jul 1;124(13) :2824-2831
PMID: 29660822    PMCID: PMC6070342    URL: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29660822
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BACKGROUND: The current study was performed to characterize the employment status of survivors of hematological cancer who have an informal caregiver from the time of diagnosis through the first 6 months of treatment. METHODS: Using a mixed methods approach, semistructured interviews with survivors of hematological cancer were conducted within 6 months of the initiation of cancer treatment. Interviews assessed cancer treatment status, barriers and facilitators to employment, financial and insurance status, and relationship with the primary caregiver. These results are part of a longitudinal study of cancer survivors and informal caregivers. RESULTS: A total of 171 patients were enrolled. Within 6 months of beginning cancer treatments, approximately 35% were no longer employed. Reasons to remain employed included financial need, employee benefits, and a sense of purpose and normalcy. Employer accommodations and supportive colleagues facilitated continued employment. Logistic regression analysis demonstrated that having a higher household income, a desire to work, nonphysical job tasks, and congruent survivor-caregiver communication were associated with greater odds of remaining employed. CONCLUSIONS: Within 6 months of initiating cancer treatment, the majority of survivors of hematological cancer had maintained employment. Because of the limitations imposed by the physical stress of cancer treatments, as well as the need to maintain employment to continue receiving employee benefits to cover such treatments, survivors of hematological cancer likely would benefit from employment accommodations that are sensitive to their unique needs. Cancer 2018. (c) 2018 American Cancer Society.
1097-0142 Thomson, Maria D ORCID: http://orcid.org/0000-0002-5729-8720 Siminoff, Laura A Journal Article United States Cancer. 2018 Apr 16. doi: 10.1002/cncr.31375.