Presentation M O19

M O19 (Oral Presentation):
Are fatigue, depression and anxiety associated with labour market participation among patients diagnosed with haematological malignancies? A prospective study

Presented by: Trine Allerslev Horsboel


Horsboel TA1,3, B├╝ltmann U2, Nielsen CV3,4, Nielsen B1, Andersen NT5, de Thurah A6,7

  1. Department of Haematology, Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark
  2. Department of Health Sciences, Community and Occupational Medicine, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, the Netherlands
  3. Section for Clinical Social Medicine and Rehabilitation, Department of Public Health, Aarhus University, Denmark
  4. Public Health and Quality Improvement, Central Denmark Region, Denmark
  5. Section for Biostatistics, Department of Public Health, Aarhus University, Denmark
  6. Department of Rheumatology, Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark
  7. Department of Clinical Medicine, Aarhus University, Denmark



Patients with haematological malignancies are at increased risk of experiencing work-related problems compared to cancer-free controls and other cancer groups. Fatigue, depression and anxiety are some of the most frequently reported symptoms among these patients. Yet, little is known about prospective associations between these symptoms and labour market participation for patients diagnosed with haematological malignancies. The aims of this study were to 1) examine levels of fatigue, depression and anxiety following diagnosis of a haematological malignancy, 2) determine the incidence of return to work (RTW) and long-term sickness absence (LTSA) during one year follow-up, and 3) examine whether fatigue, depression and anxiety are associated with RTW and LTSA in this group of cancer patients.


Questionnaire-based data on fatigue, depression and anxiety were obtained at baseline. In all, 196 patients returned the questionnaire. Of these, 106 patients were on sick leave and 90 patients were working. They were all followed prospectively for one year using register-based data on labour market participation.


At baseline, high levels of fatigue, depression and anxiety were more prevalent among sickness absent patients than in those working. Half of the sickness absent patients returned to work during follow-up, and only ten (11%) working patients experienced LTSA. Sickness absent patients with highest scores of Physical Fatigue were less likely to RTW than those with lowest scores (RR 0.43, 95% CI 0.23-0.78). Similar, we found an association between symptoms of anxiety and RTW (p=0.048). This association was though non-significant in multivariable analyses (p=0.068). No significant association was found between depression and RTW.


Half of sick absent patients returned to work, and only a few of working patients experienced LTSA during follow-up. Patients reporting high levels of Physical Fatigue were less likely to RTW. There was a similar tendency for anxiety, whereas we found no association between depression and RTW. Larger prospective studies are needed.

Schedule Details

Monday September 29
13:45 - 15:15 Afternoon Concurrent Sessions (M O13 - M O24 and Seminar 2)
Session: Work disability in cancer survivors
Room A