Factors Affecting the Quality of Life of Korean Cancer Survivors Who Return to the Workplace


Background: Although the prevalence of cancer is increasing, it is no longer synonymous with death. Thenumber of cancer survivors is estimated to be increasing due to development in medical treatments and socialprograms; cancer survivors are increasingly returning to work after long-term unemployment. Thus, we examinedthe quality of life (QOL) and the factors associated with return of cancer survivors to the workplace. Materialsand
Methods: This study was performed using the 2008 Community Health Survey administered by the KoreaCenters for Disease Control and Prevention (N= 548). We used Chi-square tests to compare demographic variablesbased on self-perceived health status, and analysis of variance (ANOVA) to compare QOL scores among groups.We also performed a mixed-model analysis of the relationship between QOL and factors at the workplaces ofcancer survivors.
Results: Based on the results of our study, the overall QOL of cancer survivors was associatedwith ‘mutual respect’, ‘free emotional expression’, occupation, and age. Moreover, different trends of QOLaccording to self-perceived health were identified on additional analysis. In the ‘bad’ self-perceived health group,QOL was significantly different according to income. The QOL of cancer survivors in the low-income group waslower than in the other groups. Conversely, the ‘normal’ group had a lower QOL caused by ‘no mutual respect’and “no free emotional expression” in the workplace. The QOL in the ‘good’ group based on self-perceivedhealth was higher in the younger age group.
Conclusions: There may be a significant relationship between QOLand workplace factors for cancer survivors, although further study is needed to investigate this relationship indetail. This may facilitate formulation of policy and efforts to prevent and manage the decline in the QOL ofcancer survivors returning to work.