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Journal Articles Journal of Cancer Survivorship Year : 2017

Return to work among self-employed cancer survivors


Purpose: The aim of this study is to investigate whether salaried and self-employed workers differ regarding factors relevant for return to work after being diagnosed with cancer. The possible mediators of an effect of self-employment on work ability were also investigated. Methods: A total of 1115 cancer survivors (1027 salaried and 88 self-employed) of common invasive cancer types who were in work at the time of diagnosis completed a mailed questionnaire 15–39 months after diagnosis. Results: Twenty-four percent of self-employed cancer survivors reported that they had not returned to work at the time of the survey, and 18 % of those who were salaried had not. While 9 % of the self-employed had received disability or early retirement pension, only 5 % had received such a pension among salaried employees. Compared with the salaried workers, the self-employed people reported significantly more often reduced work hours (P < 0.001), negative cancer-related financial (P < 0.001), and occupational changes (P = 0.005) and low overall health (P = 0.02), quality of life (P = 0.04), and total work ability (P = 0.02). The negative effect of self-employment on total work ability seems to be mediated by reduced work hours and a negative cancer-related financial change. Conclusions: Compared with salaried, self-employed workers in Norway, they seem to struggle with work after cancer. This may be because the two groups have different work tasks and because self-employed people have lower social support at work and less legal support from the Working Environment Act and public health insurance.
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Dates and versions

hal-03586254 , version 1 (23-02-2022)



Steffen Torp, Jonn Syse, Alain Paraponaris, Sævar Gudbergsson. Return to work among self-employed cancer survivors. Journal of Cancer Survivorship, 2017, 11 (2), pp.189-200. ⟨10.1007/s11764-016-0578-8⟩. ⟨hal-03586254⟩
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