Changes in employment status and experience of discrimination among cancer patients: findings from a nationwide survey in Korea
Article first published online: 11 FEB 2010
Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Volume 19, Issue 12, pages 1303–1312, December 2010
How to Cite
Park, J.-H., Park, J.-H., Kim, S.-G., Lee, K.-S. and Hahm, M.-I. (2010), Changes in employment status and experience of discrimination among cancer patients: findings from a nationwide survey in Korea. Psycho-Oncology, 19: 1303–1312. doi: 10.1002/pon.1694
- Issue published online: 11 FEB 2010
- Article first published online: 11 FEB 2010
- Manuscript Accepted: 8 DEC 2009
- Manuscript Revised: 5 DEC 2009
- Manuscript Received: 24 JUL 2009
- employment status;
Background: As the number of working cancer patients increases, workplace discrimination and its relationship to changes in employment status among cancer patients is becoming an increasingly important social concern. The aim of this study is to provide a comprehensive overview of the relationship between changes in employment status and discrimination following a diagnosis of cancer.
Methods: A total of 748 cancer patients, aged 18 years and older, who were employed before receiving a diagnosis of cancer, were enrolled in this study. Patients were recruited from ten cancer centers in Korea. Sociodemographic data, work-related data, and clinical information, as well as information on changes in employment status and incidences of discrimination, were collected from all patients.
Results: A change in employment status was reported by 73.4% of the sample, with unemployment being the most common change (46.4%). Forty-two (5.6%) patients reported that they had experienced discrimination in the workplace. Reports of discrimination were only weakly correlated with changes in employment status, but were significantly correlated with forced unemployment. Additional analyses revealed that being female, being from a lower socioeconomic status group and having a disability were risk-factors for unemployment, while being male, being from a higher socioeconomic status group and having a disability were risk-factors for workplace discrimination or forced unemployment.
Conclusions: More attention should be paid to vulnerable who are diagnosed with cancer. An individualized and culture-based approach should be taken to minimize undesirable changes in employment status and to reduce discrimination among patients receiving a diagnosis of cancer. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.