Presentation M P17

M P17 (Poster Presentation):
Factors associated with work disability in employed cancer survivors

Presented by: Lieke Lammerts

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van Muijen P1,2,3, Duijts SFA1, Bonefaas-Groenewoud K1,3, van der Beek AJ1,3, Anema JR1,3

  1. Department of Public and Occupational Health, EMGO+ Institute / VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam
  2. Dutch Social Security Agency
  3. Research Center for Insurance Medicine, The Netherlands



Return to work (RTW) may help cancer survivors to regain control, lead the way back to the former normal life, strengthen their self-confidence and support them to overcome negative side-effects of treatment. Also, enhancement of work participation of cancer survivors may reduce the costs of sick leave, work disability benefits and productivity loss. Identification of factors associated with work disability in cancer survivors on long term sick leave may support them in choosing effective measures to facilitate vocational rehabilitation and return to work. Therefore, this study aims to disclose factors associated with work disability in cancer survivors at 24 months of sick leave.


A cross sectional study was conducted. The study population consisted of 351 employed sick-listed cancer survivors, aged between 18 and 64 years. They received a questionnaire at 24-month sick leave. Data were linked with the outcome of work disability assessment, as performed by the Dutch social security agency. A hierarchical multivariate logistic regression analysis was performed to identify factors associated with work disability.


The mean age of respondents was 51.1 years (SD 7.4 years) and 36% were men. Related to the category health determinants breast cancer was reported in 40%, haematological cancer in 14%, and cancer of the digestive system in 13% of the cases. The multivariate analysis showed that, for cancer survivors at 24-month sick leave, higher education (OR 2.78; CI 1.16-6.69) , receiving hormone therapy (OR 2.20; CI 1.08-4.47) , metastatic disease (OR 4.51; CI 1.65-12.34) and physical limitations (OR 2.62; CI 1.34-5.14) were associated with an increased risk for work disability. Non-Dutch nationality (OR 0.15; CI 0.02-0.95) and high self-reported work ability (OR 0.09; CI 0.04-0.19) were associated with decreased risk for work disability.


This study identified factors associated with work disability of employed cancer survivors at 24 months of sick leave. The results of the current study may serve as a starting point to investigate the course of work disability beyond the maximum period of 24 months of sick leave. In order to enhance work participation of cancer survivors beyond this term, prospective data on work disability in the Netherlands are required.

Schedule Details

Monday September 29
12:45 - 13:45 Poster Viewing
Session: Determinants of RTW