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Predictors of Work-Related Disability During Early Phases of Breast Cancer Treatment

Brick, Rachelle MSOT, OTR/L; Skidmore, Elizabeth PhD, OTR/L; Terhorst, Lauren PhD; McCue, Michael PhD; Bender, Catherine PhD, RN

American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation: July 2019 - Volume 98 - Issue 7 - p 627–630
doi: 10.1097/PHM.0000000000001138
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Objective This study examined the magnitude of work-related disability in postmenopausal women with breast cancer compared with healthy controls. It also examined demographic and clinical correlates of work-related disability in postmenopausal women with breast cancer.

Study Design This was an exploratory secondary analysis of longitudinal study.

Outcome Measure The Work Limitations Questionnaire measured the percentage of at-work productivity loss.

Results The analysis revealed a significant group-by-time interaction effect (F1,40 = 4.705, P = 0.036, partial η2 = .105) on work-related disability. Participants with breast cancer (mean = 2.364, SE = 0.374) had significantly higher percentage of at-work productivity loss compared with the healthy control group (mean = 1.263, SE = 0.392). At baseline, cognitive-emotional symptoms were moderately to strongly associated with work-related disability. At 6 months, physical symptoms were moderately associated with work-related disability.

Conclusions Women with newly diagnosed breast cancer are likely to experience higher rates of work-related disability compared with health counterparts. Health care providers should provide intervention to parallel the shift in symptoms that lead to higher work-related disability and job cessation.

From the Departments of Occupational Therapy (RB, ES, LT) and Rehabilitation Counseling (MM), School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, and School of Nursing (CB), University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

All correspondence should be addressed to: Rachelle Brick, MSOT, OTR/L, Department of Occupational Therapy, Bridgeside Point I, 100 Technology Drive, Suite 350, Pittsburgh, PA 15219.

This research was supported by the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health (R01CA107408).

Portions of these data will be presented at the 2018 American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine Conference on October 3, 2018, in Dallas, Texas.

Rachelle Brick is in training.

Financial disclosure statements have been obtained, and no conflicts of interest have been reported by the authors or by any individuals in control of the content of this article.

Online date: January 18, 2019

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