Employment Situation of Parents of Long-Term Childhood Cancer Survivors.

Mader, Luzius; Rueegg, Corina S; Vetsch, Janine; Rischewski, Johannes; Ansari, Marc; Kuehni, Claudia E; Michel, Gisela (2016). Employment Situation of Parents of Long-Term Childhood Cancer Survivors. PLoS ONE, 11(3), e0151966. Public Library of Science 10.1371/journal.pone.0151966

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BACKGROUND Taking care of children diagnosed with cancer affects parents' professional life. The impact in the long-term however, is not clear. We aimed to compare the employment situation of parents of long-term childhood cancer survivors with control parents of the general population, and to identify clinical and socio-demographic factors associated with parental employment. METHODS As part of the Swiss Childhood Cancer Survivor Study, we sent a questionnaire to parents of survivors aged 5-15 years, who survived ≥5 years after diagnosis. Information on control parents of the general population came from the Swiss Health Survey (restricted to men and women with ≥1 child aged 5-15 years). Employment was categorized as not employed, part-time, and full-time employed. We used generalized ordered logistic regression to determine associations with clinical and socio-demographic factors. Clinical data was available from the Swiss Childhood Cancer Registry. RESULTS We included 394 parent-couples of survivors and 3'341 control parents (1'731 mothers; 1'610 fathers). Mothers of survivors were more often not employed (29% versus 22%; ptrend = 0.007). However, no differences between mothers were found in multivariable analysis. Fathers of survivors were more often employed full-time (93% versus 87%; ptrend = 0.002), which remained significant in multivariable analysis. Among parents of survivors, mothers with tertiary education (OR = 2.40, CI:1.14-5.07) were more likely to be employed. Having a migration background (OR = 3.63, CI: 1.71-7.71) increased the likelihood of being full-time employed in mothers of survivors. Less likely to be employed were mothers of survivors diagnosed with lymphoma (OR = 0.31, CI:0.13-0.73) and >2 children (OR = 0.48, CI:0.30-0.75); and fathers of survivors who had had a relapse (OR = 0.13, CI:0.04-0.36). CONCLUSION Employment situation of parents of long-term survivors reflected the more traditional parenting roles. Specific support for parents with low education, additional children, and whose child had a more severe cancer disease could improve their long-term employment situation.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine

UniBE Contributor:

Kühni, Claudia and Michel, Gisela


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 360 Social problems & social services




Public Library of Science




Doris Kopp Heim

Date Deposited:

22 Mar 2016 15:20

Last Modified:

14 Sep 2017 03:47

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:






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