Return to Work and Its Relation to Financial Distress among Iranian Cancer Survivors


Background: Return to work after treatment completion is important for both cancer survivors and society.Financial distress is one of the factors that may influence the return to work in cancer survivors. However, thisrelationship has not been well investigated. This study aimed to determine the rate of return to work and its relationto financial distress among Iranian cancer survivors. Materials and
Methods: This descriptive-correlationalstudy was undertaken among 165 cancer survivors who completed their initial treatments and had no signs ofactive cancer. The Return to Work questionnaire and Financial Distress/Financial Well-Being Scale were usedfor data collection. Data were analyzed using SPSS statistical software.
Results: After initial treatments, 120cancer survivors (72%) had returned to work, of which 50 patients (42%) had returned to full-time work and70 (58%) reduced their work hours and returned to part-time work. Cancer survivors also reported high levelsof financial distress. In addition, the financial distress was lower among patients who had returned completelyto work, in comparison to patients who had quit working for cancer-related reasons (p= 0.001) or returned towork as part-time workers (p=0.001).
Conclusions: The findings showed that a high percent of Iranian cancersurvivors had not returned to their jobs or considerably reduced working hours after treatment completion.Accordingly, due to high levels of financial distress experienced by participants and its relation to return towork, designing rehabilitation programs to facilitate cancer survivor return to work should be considered.