Work ability among employees 2-10 years beyond breast cancer diagnosis: Late treatment effects and job resources – A longitudinal study

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Abstract

BACKGROUND:
The number of workers who have previously undergone a cancer treatment is increasing, and possible late treatment effects (fatigue, physical and cognitive complaints) may affect work ability.

OBJECTIVE:
The aim of the study was to investigate the impact of late treatment effects and of job resources (autonomy, supportive leadership style, and colleagues’ social support) on the future work ability of employees living 2–10 years beyond a breast cancer diagnosis.

METHODS:
Data at T1 (baseline questionnaire) and at T2 (9 months later) were collected in 2018 and 2019 (N = 287) among Dutch-speaking workers with a breast cancer diagnosis 2–10 years ago. Longitudinal regression analyses, controlling for years since diagnosis, living with cancer (recurrence or metastasis), other chronic or severe diseases, and work ability at baseline were executed.

RESULTS:
Higher levels of fatigue and cognitive complaints at baseline predicted lower future work ability. The three job resources did not predict higher future work ability, but did relate cross-sectionally with higher work ability at baseline. Autonomy negatively moderated the association between physical complaints and future work ability.

CONCLUSIONS:
Fatigue and cognitive complaints among employees 2–10 years past breast cancer diagnosis need awareness and interventions to prevent lower future work ability. Among participants with average or high levels of physical complaints, there was no difference in future work ability between medium and high autonomy. However, future work ability was remarkably lower when autonomy was low.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-16
JournalWORK: A Journal of Prevention, Assessment & Rehabilitation
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2 May 2022

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