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Job Stress and Physical Activity Related to Elevated Symptom Clusters in Breast Cancer Survivors at Work

Moskowitz, Michal C. MS; Feuerstein, Michael PhD, MPH; Todd, Briana L. MS

Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine:
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e31826eef97
Original Articles
Abstract

Objective: To identify whether clusters of symptoms (depression, anxiety, fatigue, cognitive limitations) appear in employed breast cancer survivors, and whether clusters are related to job stress and aerobic activity.

Methods: Employed breast cancer survivors (n = 94) and women without a history of cancer (n = 100) completed questionnaires online in a cross-sectional study.

Results: A two-cluster solution of high or low symptom severity groups was observed. High symptom cluster was associated with breast cancer (odds ratio [OR] = 2.46; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.22 to 4.93), more frequent job stress (OR = 1.78; 95% CI, 1.12 to 2.83), and lower levels of aerobic activity (OR = 0.55; 95% CI, 0.36 to 0.83).

Conclusion: Levels of anxiety, depression, cognitive limitations, and fatigue are expressed as clusters with varying severity. Clusters are related to job stress and aerobic activity in breast cancer survivors at work. Findings suggest avenues for clinical management and research.

Author Information

From the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, Md.

Address correspondence to: Michael Feuerstein, PhD, MPH, Department of Medical and Clinical Psychology, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, 4301 Jones Bridge Rd, Bethesda, MD 20814 (michael.feuerstein@usuhs.edu).

This research was funded by an intramural grant awarded to Dr Feuerstein from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences and the Cancer Survivorship Fund, Henry M. Jackson Foundation.

The opinions and assertions contained herein are the private views of the authors and are not to be construed as being official or as reflecting the views of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences or the Department of Defense.

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

©2013The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine