of child and adolescent patients with advanced-stage Hodgkin lymphoma are vulnerable to productivity loss at work, according to phase 3 trial findings.
Researchers defined productivity loss as “a measure of work engagement; specifically, missed time and/or altered performance, experienced by parent caregivers of children with cancer.”
The participating caregivers, who were an average age of 43.8 and mostly women, were asked to complete the Caregiver Work Limitations Questionnaire and the Child Health Ratings Inventories- Global Health measure before the start of their children’s therapy.
Researchers explained that the questionnaire quantifies the percentage of time respondents had difficulty performing four key aspects of work because of caregiving: physical, mental-interpersonal and output tasks and time management. The 10-item inventory measures the child’s health-related quality of life (HRQL), based on the parent’s responses.
Nearly 300 parents completed the two sets of questions; of those, 159 reported working at a paying job and thus were eligible to complete the remainder of the study. All patients were newly diagnosed; most were boys with an average age of 15. The mean HRQL score was 65.2.
Based on the participants’ self-reporting, researchers determined that caregiving disrupted work tasks at least 31.4 percent of the time. The average amount of disrupted time for mental-interpersonal tasks, output tasks and time management, as well as productivity loss, was higher in caregivers of children with HRQL scores in the lowest quartile compared with caregivers of children with higher scores.
“High productivity losses noted at initial diagnosis indicate that financial hardship begins prior to the start of cancer treatment,” the researchers wrote.