Job loss and re-employment of cancer patients in Korean employees: A nationwide retrospective cohort study

Jae Hyun Park, Eun Cheol Park, Jong Hyock Park, Sung Gyeong Kim, Sang Yi Lee

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94 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The aim of this study was to investigate whether a diagnosis of cancer has an impact on the cancer patients' job loss and re-employment and to identify the factors affecting job loss and re-employment during 6 years of follow-up of Korean employees with cancer. Patients and Methods: All employees except for the self-employed in Korea who were diagnosed with cancer during the 2001 calendar year (n = 5,396) were identified as the first baseline patients and were followed every 3 months over 6 years to estimate the time taken to job loss. Patients who lost their job within the first year after a diagnosis of cancer (n = 1,398) were identified as the second baseline patients and were followed up over 5 years to estimate the time taken to re-employment using the National Health Insurance claims data. Patient demographic, socioeconomic, and clinical variables were investigated as factors that affected job loss and re-employment. Results: Among the first baseline cancer patients, 47.0% lost their job, and among the second baseline patients, 30.5% were re-employed over 69 to 72 months of follow-up. Female sex, younger age and older age, company employee, lower income, blood cancer, and brain and CNS, lung, and liver cancer were significant predictors of early job loss or delayed re-employment. Conclusion: The diagnosis of cancer affects cancer patients' employment status differently according to different factors: sex, age, type of job, income, and cancer site. Efforts should be made to support re-employment and reduce unnecessary work cessation and disparity between different demographic and socioeconomic groups of cancer survivors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1302-1309
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Mar 10

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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