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J Cancer Surviv. 2017 Feb;11(1):48-57. doi: 10.1007/s11764-016-0560-5. Epub 2016 Jul 16.

Employment implications of informal cancer caregiving.

Author information

1
Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD, USA. demoorjs@mail.nih.gov.
2
Healthcare Assessment Research Branch, Healthcare Delivery Research Program, Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, National Cancer Institute, 9609 Medical Center Drive, 3E438, MSC 9764, Bethesda, MD, 20892-9764, USA. demoorjs@mail.nih.gov.
3
Institute for Technology Assessment, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA.
4
Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, USA.
5
Department of Health Policy and Management, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USA.
6
Surveillance and Health Services Research Program, American Cancer Society, Atlanta, GA, USA.
7
Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD, USA.
8
Information Management Services, Inc., Calverton, MD, USA.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

Previous research describing how informal cancer caregiving impacts employment has been conducted in small samples or a single disease site. This paper provides population-based estimates of the effect of informal cancer caregiving on employment and characterizes employment changes made by caregivers.

METHODS:

The samples included cancer survivors with a friend or family caregiver, participating in either the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey Experiences with Cancer Survivorship Survey (ECSS) (n = 458) or the LIVESTRONG 2012 Survey for People Affected by Cancer (SPAC) (n = 4706). Descriptive statistics characterized the sample of survivors and their caregivers' employment changes. Multivariable logistic regression identified predictors of caregivers' extended employment changes, comprising time off and changes to hours, duties, or employment status.

RESULTS:

Among survivors with an informal caregiver, 25 % from the ECSS and 29 % from the SPAC reported that their caregivers made extended employment changes. Approximately 8 % of survivors had caregivers who took time off from work lasting ≥2 months. Caregivers who made extended employment changes were more likely to care for survivors: treated with chemotherapy or transplant; closer to diagnosis or end of treatment; who experienced functional limitations; and made work changes due to cancer themselves compared to caregivers who did not make extended employment changes.

CONCLUSIONS:

Many informal cancer caregivers make employment changes to provide care during survivors' treatment and recovery.

IMPLICATIONS FOR CANCER SURVIVORS:

This study describes cancer caregiving in a prevalent sample of cancer survivors, thereby reflecting the experiences of individuals with many different cancer types and places in the cancer treatment trajectory.

KEYWORDS:

Caregivers; Cost-of-illness; Employment; Neoplasms; Quality of life

PMID:
27423439
PMCID:
PMC5239760
DOI:
10.1007/s11764-016-0560-5
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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