Sick leave patterns among 5-year cancer survivors: a registry-based retrospective cohort study
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.Get Access
The aims of this study were to observe the sick leave rates of cancer survivors for five consecutive years following a first lifetime diagnosis of invasive cancer and to identify socio-demographic and clinical predictors of sick leave taken in the fifth year after diagnosis.
This registry study comprised 2,008 Norwegian individuals (18–61 years old) with their first lifetime diagnosis of invasive cancer in 1999 and alive in 2004 and a cancer-free control group (n = 3,240) matched by sex, age, educational level, and employment status in 1998. Sick leave was defined as at least one sick leave period >16 days within the year in question.
A total of 75 % of the long-term cancer survivors (LTCSs) took sick leave within the first 12 months after their diagnosis. The sick leave rate stabilized at a slightly higher level in the following 4 years compared to the year before diagnosis, with approximately 23 % of the male and 31 % of the female LTCSs taking sick leave. Being single with children, having low education, working in health and social work sector, or having taken sick leave the year before diagnosis (1998) predicted the sick leave taken 5 years after diagnosis (2004) among LTCSs. Compared to the controls, LTCSs with rectal, lymphogenic, breast, or “other” types of cancer had significantly higher sick leave rates 5 years after diagnosis. Socio-demographic factors explained more of the variance in sick leave than did clinical factors.
Employed LTCSs struggle with their ability to work 5 years after diagnosis. More research is needed to identify factors that would promote LTCSs’ health and ability.
Implications for cancer survivors
A socioeconomic and work environmental perspective seems necessary for achieving effective occupational rehabilitation and preventing sick leave among LTCSs.
- Gudbergsson, SB, Dahl, AA (2009) Hvordan greier kreftpasienter seg i arbeidslivet? [How do cancer patients cope at work?]. Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen 129: pp. 1116-1117 CrossRef
- Torp S, Nielsen RA, Fosså SD, Gudbergsson SB, Dahl AA. Change in employment status of 5-year cancer survivors. Eur J Public Health. 2012. doi:10.1093/eurpub/ckr192.
- Mehnert, A (2011) Employment and work-related issues in cancer survivors. Crit Rev Oncol Hematol 77: pp. 109-130 CrossRef
- Taskila-Åbrandt, T, Pukkala, E, Martikainen, R, Karjalainen, A, Hietanen, P (2005) Employment status of Finnish cancer patients in 1997. Psychooncology 14: pp. 221-226 CrossRef
- Carlsen, K, Dalton, SO, Diderichsen, F, Johansen, C (2008) Risk for unemployment of cancer survivors: a Danish cohort study. Eur J Cancer 44: pp. 1866-1874 CrossRef
- Munir, F, Yarker, J, McDermott, H (2009) Employment and the common cancers: correlates of work ability during or following cancer treatment. Occup Med (Lond) 59: pp. 381-389 CrossRef
- Torp S, Nielsen RA, Gudbergsson SB, Dahl AA. Worksite adjustments and work ability among employed cancer survivors. Support Care Cancer. 2012. doi:10.1007/s00520-011-1325-3.
- Roelen, CAM, Koopmans, PC, Graaf, JH, Balak, F, Groothoff, JW (2009) Sickness absence and return to work rates in women with breast cancer. Int Arch Occup Environ Health 82: pp. 543-546 CrossRef
- Gudbergsson, SB, Torp, S, Fløtten, T, Fosså, SD, Nielsen, R, Dahl, AA (2011) A comparative study of cancer patients with short and long sick-leave after primary treatment. Acta Oncol 50: pp. 381-389 CrossRef
- Steiner, JF, Cavender, TA, Main, DS, Bradley, CJ (2004) Assessing the impact of cancer on work outcomes: what are the research needs?. Cancer 101: pp. 1703-1711 CrossRef
- Cancer in Norway 2008. Cancer incidence, mortality, survival and prevalence in Norway. Cancer Registry of Norway, Oslo
- Torp, S, Gudbergsson, SB, Dahl, AA, Fossa, SD, Flotten, T (2011) Social support at work and work changes among cancer survivors in Norway. Scand J Public Health 39: pp. 33-42 CrossRef
- Fløtten T, Torp S, Kavli H, Nielsen R, Syse J, Grønningsæter A, Gustavsen K (2008) Kreftrammedes levekår. Om arbeid, økonomi, rehabilitering og sosial støtte [Living conditions of cancer survivors: work, finances, rehabilitation and social support]. Report 2008:47. Fafo, Oslo
- World Health Organization (2012) International classification of diseases for oncology. WHO, Geneva. http://www.who.int/classifications/icd/adaptations/oncology/en/. Accessed 27 April 2012.
- Cancer in Norway 2006. Cancer incidence, mortality, survival and prevalence in Norway. Cancer Registry of Norway, Oslo
- Norwegian National Insurance (NAV) (2011) Sickness benefit for EEA citizens. http://www.nav.no/English/Social+security/Sickness+benefit+for+EEA+citizens.190043.cms. Accessed 27 April 2012.
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) (1987) Standard Industrial Classification (SIC). http://www.osha.gov/pls/imis/sic_manual.html. Accessed 27 April 2012.
- Drolet, M, Maunsell, E, Mondor, M, Brisson, C, Brisson, J, Masse, B, Deschenes, L (2005) Work absence after breast cancer diagnosis: a population-based study. Can Med Assoc J 173: pp. 765-771 CrossRef
- Sjovall, K, Attner, B, Englund, M, Lithman, T, Noreen, D, Gunnars, B, Thome, B, Olsson, H, Petersson, II (2012) Sickness absence among cancer patients in the pre-diagnostic and the post-diagnostic phases of five common forms of cancer. Support Care Cancer 20: pp. 741-747 CrossRef
- Yabroff, KR, Lawrence, WF, Clauser, S, Davis, WW, Brown, ML (2004) Burden of illness in cancer survivors: findings from a population-based national sample. J Natl Cancer Inst 96: pp. 1322-1330 CrossRef
- Finkelstein, EA, Tangka, FK, Trogdon, JG, Sabatino, SA, Richardson, LC (2009) The personal financial burden of cancer for the working-aged population. Am J Manag Care 15: pp. 801-806
- Eakin, EG, Youlden, DR, Baade, PD, Lawler, SP, Reeves, MR, Heyworth, JS, Fritschi, L (2006) Health status of long-term cancer survivors. Results from an Australian population-based sample. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 15: pp. 1969-1976 CrossRef
- Eaker, S, Wigertz, A, Lambert, PC, Bergkvist, L, Ahlgren, J, Lambe, M (2011) Breast cancer, sickness absence, income and marital status. A study on life situation 1 year prior diagnosis compared to 3 and 5 years after diagnosis. Plos ONE 6: pp. e18040 CrossRef
- Taskila, T, Martikainen, R, Hietanen, P, Lindbohm, M-L (2007) Comparative study of work ability between cancer survivors and their referents. Eur J Cancer 43: pp. 914-920 CrossRef
- Marmot, M (2005) Social determinants of health inequalities. Lancet 365: pp. 1099-1104
- Taskila-Åbrandt, T, Martikainen, R, Virtanen, SV, Pukkala, E, Hietanen, P, Lindbohm, ML (2004) The impact of education and occupation on the employment status of cancer survivors. Eur J Cancer 40: pp. 2488-2493 CrossRef
- Koopmans, PC, Roelen, CA, Groothoff, JW (2008) Risk of future sickness absence in frequent and long-term absentees. Occup Med (Lond) 58: pp. 268-274 CrossRef
- Lagerveld, SE, Bultmann, U, Franche, RL, Dijk, FJH, Vlasveld, MC, Feltz-Cornelis, CM, Bruinvels, DJ, Huijs, J, Blonk, RWB, Klink, JJL, Nieuwenhuijsen, K (2010) Factors associated with work participation and work functioning in depressed workers: a systematic review. J Occup Rehabil 20: pp. 275-292 CrossRef
- Anesetti-Rothermel, A, Sambamoorthi, U (2011) Physical and mental illness burden: disability days among working adults. Popul Health Manag 14: pp. 223-230 CrossRef
- Linder, J, Ekholm, KS, Jansen, GB, Lundh, G, Ekholm, J (2009) Long-term sick leavers with difficulty in resuming work: comparisons between psychiatric–somatic comorbidity and monodiagnosis. Int J Rehabil Res 32: pp. 20-35 CrossRef
- Sick leave patterns among 5-year cancer survivors: a registry-based retrospective cohort study
Journal of Cancer Survivorship
Volume 6, Issue 3 , pp 315-323
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Springer US
- Additional Links
- Health promotion
- Industry Sectors
- Author Affiliations
- 1. Department of Health Promotion, Faculty of Health Sciences, Vestfold University College, P.O. Box 2243, 3101, Tønsberg, Norway
- 2. Fafo Institute for Labor and Social Research, P.O. Box 2947, Tøyen, Oslo, 0608, Norway
- 3. Montebello-Senteret, The Norwegian Resource Center for Coping with Cancer, Mesnalia, Norway
- 4. Department of Oncology, National Resource Center for Late Effects after Cancer Treatment, Oslo University Hospital, P.O. Box 4953, Nydalen, Oslo, 0424, Norway
- 5. Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo, P.O. Box 1078, Blindern, 0316, Oslo, Norway