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Factors Affecting Postoperative Occupational Changes and Sick Leave in Patients with Thyroid Cancer
Int J Thyroidol 2019;12(2):113-119
Published online November 30, 2019;
© 2019 Korean Thyroid Association.

Kyung Ah Park1,2,3, Young Ja Oh1,2, Sang Hui Chu4, Yong Sang Lee1, Hang-Seok Chang1 and Cheong Soo Park1

Thyroid Cancer Center1, Division of Nursing2, Gangnam Severance Hospital, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Yonsei University Graduate School of Nursing3, Yonsei University College of Nursing4, Seoul, Korea
Correspondence to: Yong Sang Lee, MD, PhD, Department of Surgery, Thyroid Cancer Center, Gangnam Severance Hospital, Yonsei University College of Medicine, 21 Eonju-ro, Gangnam-gu, Seoul 06273, Korea
Tel: 82-2-2019-3370, Fax: 82-2-2019-4812, E-mail:
Received October 24, 2019; Revised November 18, 2019; Accepted November 18, 2019.
This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (, which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Background and Objectives: Most thyroid cancers progress slowly, have high survival rates, and have good prognosis. Therefore, the management of patients with thyroid cancer should be viewed from a long-term perspective, taking into account a return to normal social life. Cancer patients have a higher risk of unemployment than the general population, and so unemployment can be an economic problem for thyroid cancer patients. However, there have been few studies on factors affecting return to work in thyroid cancer patients. The purpose of this study is to investigate occupational changes and the period of leave of absence for patients with thyroid cancer and to identify factors that affect the return to work after surgery.
Materials and Methods: A total of 427 questionnaires of thyroid cancer patients were used for the analysis. The occupational changes and sick leave periods were analyzed according to general characteristics, disease-related characteristics, and side effects.
Results: The factors related to occupational change and leave of absence in thyroid cancer patients were sex and type of occupation. Women had more occupational changes and longer leave of absence than men, office workers had the least change in occupation, and professional workers had a longer period of sick leave. Fatigue was the primary side effect that affected the leave of absence.
Conclusion: Occupation is very important in the life of a thyroid cancer patient. Informing the patient of possible complications and planning proper leave of absence will help the patient return to work and improve the quality of life.
Keywords : Thyroid cancer, Occupation, Sick leave, Return to work

November 2019, 12 (2)