Employment changes among Chinese family caregivers of long-term cancer survivors

Siqi Liu, Mingzhu Su, Nengliang Yao, Nan Zhang, Jialin Wang, Roger T. Anderson, Xiaojie Sun
2020 BMC Public Health  
Background Family caregivers (FCGs) play a key role in the plan of care provision for long-term cancer survivors, yet few studies have been conducted on the impact of long-term caregiving on FCGs and their employment patterns. This study aims to further our understanding of the effect that caregiving role has on FCGs by identifying what cancer-related characteristics influence reduction of employment hours among FCGs in the post-treatment phase in China. Methods A total of 1155 cancer survivors
more » ... participated in this study. Patients reported changes in the employment patterns of their FCGs. Descriptive analysis looked at demographic and cancer-related characteristics of cancer survivors and types of FCGs' employment changes in both primary- and post-treatment phases. Chi-square test was used to statistically test the association between survivors' characteristics and changes in FCGs' hours of labor force work in post-treatment phase. Separate multivariable logistic regression models were used to examine the relationship between cancer-related characteristics of participants and employment reduction patterns among FCGs in post-treatment phase while controlling for demographic factors. Results In the primary-treatment phase, 45.6% of all FCGs reduced their working hours and 17.4% stopped working altogether. In the post-treatment phase, 25.2% of FCGs worked fewer hours and 6.6% left the workforce completely. The results show that a higher probability of change in employment hours among FCGs is associated with the following patient characteristics: having comorbidities, receiving chemotherapy treatment, limited ability to perform physical tasks, limited ability to perform mental tasks, and diagnosis of stage II of cancer. Conclusions Care for cancer patients in both primary- and post- treatment phases may have substantial impacts on hours of formal employment of Chinese FCGs. Interventions helping FCGs balance caregiving duties with labor force work are warranted.
doi:10.1186/s12889-020-09922-9 pmid:33238976 fatcat:zp2qu5b6zjfidj3ljbyxfke6uu