Residual work capacity and (in)ability to work fulltime among a year cohort of cancer survivors who claim a disability benefit

Purpose Residual work capacity (RWC) and inability to work fulltime (IWF) are important outcomes in disability benefit assessments for workers diagnosed with cancer. The aim of this study is to gain insight into the prevalence of both outcomes, the associations of disease-related and socio-demographic factors and if these differ across cancer diagnosis groups. Methods A year cohort of anonymized register data of cancer survivors who claim a disability benefit after 2 years of sick leave (n = 3690, age 53.3 ± 8.8, 60.4% female) was used. Having no RWC was defined as having no possibilities to perform any work at all, whereas IWF was defined as being able to work less than 8 h per day. Results The prevalence of being assessed with no RWC was 42.6%. Of the applicants with RWC (57.4%), 69.8% were assessed with IWF. Cancers of the respiratory organs showed the highest odds for having no RWC, whereas lymphoid and haematopoietic cancers showed the highest odds for IWF. Within specific cancer diagnosis groups, different associations were identified for both outcomes. Conclusion The prevalence of no RWC and IWF in applicants of work disability benefits diagnosed with cancer is high compared to the prevalence in other diagnoses. The odds for no RWC, IWF, and associated factors differ per cancer diagnosis group. Implications for Cancer Survivors Being diagnosed with cancer has an enormous impact on work (dis)ability. Our results show that 2 years after being diagnosed with cancer, the majority of the disability benefit applicants are assessed with RWC; however, only 15% of all applicants with cancer had a normal ability to work fulltime, and therefore, it is of great importance to accompany them in their return to work.

Netspar, Network for Studies on Pensions, Aging and Retirement, is een denktank en kennisnetwerk. Netspar is gericht op een goed geïnformeerd pensioendebat.


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