Cancer Control Research5R03CA124203-02
De Moor, Janet Sterner
CANCER SURVIVORS' EMPLOYMENT PATTERNS AND CONSEQUENT ECONOMIC AND HEALTH OUTCOMES
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Cancer survivors are less likely to be employed after their diagnosis than before their diagnosis. However, it is difficult to draw firm conclusions regarding the longitudinal patterns of employment following a cancer diagnosis from existing studies. In addition, few studies have examined work outcomes other than employment status or identified cancer survivors who might be vulnerable to poor work outcomes. The proposed study will: 1. examine whether work status (employment status, work intensity and retirement status) differs between cancer survivors and non-cancer controls, 2. examine whether total household income (including income from pensions, annuities, supplemental security income and welfare) differs between cancer survivors and non-cancer controls, 3. examine whether health insurance coverage differs between cancer survivors and non-cancer controls, and 4. examine the impact of health insurance coverage on health care utilization and overall health status among cancer survivors. This research will also assess whether women and survivors employed in blue collar, service, or routine occupations are vulnerable to poor work outcomes. The objectives of this research are consistent with the mission of the Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences to enhance quality of life for cancer survivors. To address study aims, we will use data from the Health and Retirement Study, a nationally representative longitudinal study that will enable us to examine how cancer survivors' work status, economic status and health insurance coverage changed from the period prior to their diagnosis to the period following their diagnosis and compare these changes with those of participants who remained cancer free during the study period. We will also be able to explore the association between health insurance, health care utilization and health status among survivors. Sixty-four percent of people who are diagnosed with cancer will become long-term survivors, and cancer survivorship is an important public health problem. Having cancer can make it difficult for survivors to maintain employment, which may impact their economic status and health insurance coverage. Health insurance coverage may also be associated with health care utilization and overall health status. The proposed project will address these issues.