New published study shows that patients who receive information about their cancer suffering are almost twice as likely to experience a positive outcome
Dr. Caroline Kamau, organizational psychologist at Birkbeck, University of London in the UK studied how cancer awareness can affect patients’ survival rates.
Dr. Kamau analyzed 3.500 working patients to see how all necessary information about their illness, about how cancer affects their job, quality of life and long-term expectancies affect their work life, education and outcomes. Information is known to help decrease stress, as more aware the patients are about their condition, the better they will cope with it and the higher the survival rates.
A positive outcome for a cancer patient means that the patient undergone full treatment, with no remission symptoms or further cancer signs.
Study results showed that the possibility of a positive outcome was:
- 1.72 times greater in patients who were informed about the cancer impact on their jobs (awareness about fatigue, since most of cancer patients will continue working even after diagnosis)
- 1.99 times greater in patients who were informed about their cancer type
- 1.90 times greater in patients who were informed about a soon to come cancer-related
On the other hand, patients who received information about cancer treatment or cancer side effects were up to 35% less likely to have a positive outcome, due to stress and uncertainty of their prognosis.
To complete the study, Dr. Kamau secondary analyzed 6,700 patients data (with and without jobs) and results once again confirmed that the more information patients had, the better their outcome.
Dr. Kamau’s study is also important to help employers understand and support cancer employees workplace needs, considering their daily challenges, as well as for working patients suffering from other life-limiting illnesses.
“Employment […] comes with key psychological benefits. Working during cancer is […] ‘light at the end of the tunnel.’ You maintain your prediagnosis professional identity and you continue to access the social support that comes with being at work. Work boosts wellbeing in ways that can help sustain patients with cancer through difficult times”, Dr. Kamau declared for Medical News Today.