The Relation of Work Ability and Return to Work Among Iranian Cancer Survivors

Document Type : Research Articles


Tabriz University of medical sciences Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran.


Objective: Cancerous diseases are known to disrupt a person’s ability and inflict physical, psychological, financial, and social complications on the person, thereby challenging an individual’s returning to work. The aim of this study was to investigate the ability of cancer patients to work after returning to work. Methods: This descriptive-correlational study examined a total of 227 surviving cancer patients, having picked the participants through convenience sampling. Data were collected by the return to work and work ability index (WAI) questionnaires and analyzed by descriptive statistics and inferential statistics using SPSS software. Results: A total of 166 (73.2%) of the participants had returned to work after completing the basic treatment. The mean (standard deviation) of the work ability score was 29.52 (9.43), ranging from 9 to 43 while the average daily work hours dropped from 12.30 to 5.50. The chi-square test showed a significant relationship between the work ability score and the type of return to work. Moreover, the rank logistic regression analysis revealed that work ability was the most important predictor of return to work. Conclusion: Survivors of cancer face reduced working hours and limited ability to work after returning to work, and it is possible to facilitate the return to work in these patients by identifying their job needs in relation to their abilities and barriers of returning to work through the appropriate interventions.


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