Presentation M O22

M O22 (Oral Presentation):
Employment outcomes and factors associated with unemployment outcomes among long-term thyroid cancer survivors: a population-based study

Presented by: Sietske Tamminga


Tamminga SJ1, Bültmann U2, Husson O3,4, Frings-Dresen MHW1, de Boer AGEM1

  1. Coronel Institute of Occupational Health, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam
  2. University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, Department of Health Sciences, Community and Occupational Medicine, Groningen.
  3. Center of Research on Psychology in Somatic Diseases, Tilburg University, Tilburg.
  4. Comprehensive Cancer Center Netherlands South, Eindhoven Cancer Registry, Eindhoven, the Netherlands.



For cancer survivors of working age, work is a key aspect of survivorship as work contributes to higher self-esteem and quality of life. Unfortunately, cancer survivors have a higher risk of becoming unemployed. As studies regarding thyroid cancer survivorship issues are scarce, it is unknown what the consequences of a thyroid cancer diagnosis are on employment-related outcomes and which factors are associated with employment outcomes. However, it would be very relevant to study this specific group of cancer survivors, as thyroid cancer survivors are relatively young compared to other cancer survivors, have a high chance of survival, but suffer from higher levels of fatigue compared to the general population. Therefore, the aims of this study were to obtain insight into the consequences of a thyroid cancer diagnosis on employment and to examine factors associated with employment.


In this cross-sectional population-based study from the Netherlands, long-term cancer survivors diagnosed with thyroid cancer between 1990-2008, aged 18-65, were eligible for participation. Unemployment rate was compared with the general population obtained from Statistics Netherlands. Clinical data were collected from the (national) cancer registry; sociodemographic characteristics, fatigue, depression, quality of life, and employment outcomes were collected with questionnaires.


Of the 223 patients (response rate 87%), 29% were unemployed, which was comparable to the Dutch general population. Factors associated with unemployment in univariate logistic regression analysis were: higher age, lower educational level, poorer cancer stage, higher level of fatigue, higher level of depression, higher level of anxiety, and co-morbidity. In the multivariate logistic regression analysis, higher age (OR = 1.07, CI 1.02-1.11), higher level of fatigue (OR = 1.07, CI 1.01-1.14), and lower educational level (OR = 3.22, CI 1.46 – 7.09) remained associated with unemployment.


Similar levels of unemployment were found among thyroid cancer survivors compared to the general population. Being older, having a higher level of fatigue, and having a lower educational level had the strongest association with unemployment among thyroid cancer survivors independent of clinical factors.

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