Background: The effectiveness of autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) in patients with relapsed/refractory lymphoma is accepted by all authors. After ASCT, the 5-year overall survival rates can reach up to 80%. However, returning to work after ASCT and the employment status of these patients are unknown.
Objectives: This study aimed to examine the rate of not returning to work in the post-treatment period and the factors that may affect the employment status of patients who underwent ASCT with the diagnosis of relapsed/refractory lymphoma.
Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted from January to June 2020. It was performed on patients within the age ranges of 18-65 who had undergone ASCT with the diagnosis of relapsed or refractory lymphoma and were in remission without recurrence one year after ASCT.
Results: In total, 80 (74.8%) out of 107 patients included in the study were male, and the median age was 49.0 (21-63). Majority of participants were primary school graduates (n=66, 61.7%) and married (n=90, 84.1%). Before ASCT, 30 (28.0%) patients worked in the private sector and 17 (15.9%) of them were self-employed. The median follow-up time was 34.8 months (12.4 - 124.7 months). During this follow-up period, 35 (57.3%) out of 61 patients did not return to work. Most of these patients had retired (n=29, 47.5%). It was observed that having a higher education level (OR: 0.32 [0.14-1.22] 95% CI, p:0.041) and being a public employee (OR: 0.30 (0.12-0.97) 95% CI, p:0.033) are independent factors that reduce the risk of not returning to work.
Conclusion: It was found that more than half of the patients did not return to work. The low level of education and employment in non-public sectors posed the risk of not returning to work. It may be possible for patients to return to work with well-planned options, such as part-time shifts.
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