Abstract

Background: Colorectal cancer is diagnosed progressively in employed patients due to screening programs and increasing retirement age. The objective of this study was to identify prognostic factors for return to work and work disability in patients with colorectal cancer. Methods: The research protocol was published at PROSPERO with registration number CRD42017049757. A systematic review of cohort and case-control studies in colorectal cancer patients above 18 years, who were employed when diagnosed, and who had a surgical resection with curative intent were included. The primary outcome was return to work or work disability. Potentially prognostic factors were included in the analysis if they were measured in at least three studies. Risk of bias was assessed according to the QUality In Prognosis Studies tool. A qualitative synthesis analysis was performed due to heterogeneity between studies. Quality of evidence was evaluated according to Grading of Recommendation Assessment, Development and Evaluation. Results: Eight studies were included with a follow-up period of 26 up to 520 weeks. (Neo)adjuvant therapy, higher age, and more comorbidities had a significant negative influence on return to work. A previous period of unemployment, extensive surgical resection and postoperative complications significantly increased the risk of work disability. The quality of evidence for these prognostic factors was considered very low to moderate. Conclusion: Health care professionals need to be aware of these prognostic factors to select patients eligible for timely intensified rehabilitation in order to optimize the return to work process and prevent work disability.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0200720
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume13
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Cite this