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

  • Han, Kyu-Tae (Department of Public Health, Graduate School, Yonsei University College of Medicine) ;
  • Park, Eun-Cheol (Institute of Health Services Research, Yonsei University College of Medicine) ;
  • Kim, Sun Jung (Department of Public Health, Graduate School, Yonsei University College of Medicine) ;
  • Jang, Sung-In (Institute of Health Services Research, Yonsei University College of Medicine) ;
  • Shin, Jaeyong (Institute of Health Services Research, Yonsei University College of Medicine) ;
  • Kim, Chan Ok (Department of Public Health, Graduate School, Yonsei University College of Medicine) ;
  • Choi, Jaw Woo (Department of Public Health, Graduate School, Yonsei University College of Medicine) ;
  • Lee, Sang Gyu (Institute of Health Services Research, Yonsei University College of Medicine)
  • Published : 2014.11.06


Background: Although the prevalence of cancer is increasing, it is no longer synonymous with death. The number of cancer survivors is estimated to be increasing due to development in medical treatments and social programs; cancer survivors are increasingly returning to work after long-term unemployment. Thus, we examined the quality of life (QOL) and the factors associated with return of cancer survivors to the workplace. Materials and Methods: This study was performed using the 2008 Community Health Survey administered by the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (N=548). We used Chi-square tests to compare demographic variables based 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 of cancer survivors. Results: Based on the results of our study, the overall QOL of cancer survivors was associated with 'mutual respect', 'free emotional expression', occupation, and age. Moreover, different trends of QOL according 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 was lower 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-perceived health was higher in the younger age group. Conclusions: There may be a significant relationship between QOL and workplace factors for cancer survivors, although further study is needed to investigate this relationship in detail. This may facilitate formulation of policy and efforts to prevent and manage the decline in the QOL of cancer survivors returning to work.


Supported by : Ministry of Health and Welfare


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