Use of integrative services is associated with maintenance of work schedule during and after cancer treatment

Am J Surg. 2018 May;215(5):892-897. doi: 10.1016/j.amjsurg.2018.02.009. Epub 2018 Feb 13.


Introduction: Cancer diagnosis affects employment status. Our health network offers supportive services to cancer patients. We hypothesized patients who used these services were more likely to continue to work during and after treatment.

Methods: A mailed survey was used to assess employment before, during, and after treatment, and support services used. Chi-square analysis was performed.

Results: The response rate was 34% (273/782). 87% of patients worked full or part time before cancer diagnosis, 68.8% continued to work during treatment, and 73.9% returned to work after treatment. 61% of patients used at least one type of support service. Patients who had no change in work status during treatment and who returned to work less than one month after treatment were more likely to use services.

Conclusions: Most patients used support services, continued to work during treatment, and returned to pre-cancer employment status. Physicians should encourage patients to pursue supportive therapies.

Keywords: Cancer; Employment; Integrative oncology; Survivorship; Work.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Delivery of Health Care, Integrated / organization & administration*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Return to Work*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires