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Symptom Clusters and Work Limitations in Employed Breast Cancer Survivors

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Technical Report

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Uniformed Services University Of The Health Sciences Bethesda United States

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Background Symptoms can impair work outcomes in cancer survivors. There is research that symptoms occur in clusters in cancer patients however, symptom clusters and work productivity have not been studied in cancer survivors years after cancer treatment. This study identified symptom clusters in employed breast cancer survivors BCS and explored whether clusters were related to work limitations. Methods Hierarchical cluster analysis grouped BCS and a comparison sample using levels of fatigue, cognitive limitations, anxiety, and depressive symptoms. The groups were compared with work limitations as the dependent variable using one-way ANOVA. Results A two cluster solution appeared in the BCS and comparison groups. In each sample, one cluster had higher levels of symptoms and greater work limitations compared to the other cluster. Conclusion BCS, as well as a comparison group, report symptoms that cluster at two levels of severity. Those with high severity symptoms report lower work output.

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