Role of Clinical, Sociomedical and Psychological Factors on Return to Work of Patients wirh Breast Cancer six Months after Rehabilitation
The majority of patients with non-metastatic breast cancer return to work after tumor therapy. A rate of up to 80 % is given in national and international studies, which can vary considerably depending on the study population and the various social systems. However, it is unclear how many patients are reintegrated into work after medical rehabilitation and which clinical, sociodemographic and psychological factors play a role.
In a multicentre study, clinical and sociodemographic data were collected from breast cancer patients at the beginning of their medical rehabilitation. Subjectively experienced deficits in attention performance (FEDA), depressive symptoms (PHQ-9) and health-related quality of life (EORTC QLQ-C30) were recorded using standardized questionnaires. The cognitive performance was also examined using a computer-based test battery (NeuroCog FX). A follow-up survey was carried out 6–9 months after medical rehabilitation. The subjective assessment of one’s own cognitive performance (FEDA) was recorded again at this time.
396 of the originally 476 patients were included in the study. In the follow-up survey, 323/396 patients (82 %) were again employed. In a regression model, sociodemographic factors proved to be particularly predictive with regard to occupational reintegration: employment at the time of the tumor diagnosis, job preserved after medical rehabilitation, employee status and gradual reintegration according to the Hamburg model (Nagelkerke R2=0.685). This model could not be improved by adding psychological variables. The subjective patient information in all questionnaires was highly correlated (r>0.57; p<0.001).
The vast majority of breast cancer patients return to work after medical rehabilitation. Socio-demographic factors play a crucial role in this. The regression model developed here, including the employment status, professional orientation and gradual reintegration, is of predictive importance and can be used in medical rehabilitation.