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Popelas, Taylor (2014) WORK PERFORMANCE LIMITATIONS POST ANASTROZOLE TREATMENT FOR WOMEN WITH BREAST CANCER. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Due to early diagnosis and advancements in breast cancer treatments, an increasing number of women are living longer after treatment. Conversely, many women’s experiences of extended life involve enduring long-term effects of breast cancer treatments possibly including pain, fatigue, decreased energy, sensory, and motor function, lymphedema, cognitive impairments, osteoporosis, nausea, and sleeping difficulties (American Cancer Society, 2013; Brach et al., 2004; Jenkins, Shilling, Fallowfield, Howell, & Hutton, 2004; Pullens, De Vries, & Roukema, 2010). Aromatase inhibitors, including anastrozole, have proven efficacy for adjuvant therapy in postmenopausal women with breast cancer (Nabholtz, 2008; Rinaldi, 2013). Adjuvant therapy may have negative effects on cognitive functioning (Bender et. al., 2007; Nattinger et al., 2013). Cognitive, physical, and affective impairments contribute to the likelihood of increased work problems. Largely, the condition, treatments, and consequential effects may alter body functions/structures, activities, and community participation. In theory, anastrozole treatment may increase the likelihood of work problems.
Work after a cancer diagnosis is highly desirable for individuals on a person, social, and economic level, ultimately contributing to quality of life, dignity, self-esteem, and purpose (Steiner, Cavender, Main, & Bradley, 2004). Women with breast cancer commonly report work-related concerns including job loss, demotion, unwanted changes in tasks, problems with the employer/co-workers, personal changes in attitudes to work and diminished physical capacity (Brisson, Dubois, Fraser, Lauzier, & Maunsell, 1999). The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of the anastrozole breast cancer treatment, as it relates to the individuals’ abilities to function at work. Through critical analysis of data from the Anastrozole Use In Menopausal Women (AIM) study, this study found that overall, the anastrozole group reported more work problems than the control group overtime. Pain emerged as a confounding variable that supports reason for further investigation of the effects and role of pain due to breast cancer and/or treatment, specifically as it pertains to work performance. Knowing that more individuals with breast cancer are surviving and are continuing to work or returning to work, additionally considering that treatment effects and residual symptoms are often present, this population likely would benefit from vocational rehabilitation support and services.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Thesis AdvisorSporner, Michelle Lynnmls7@pitt.eduMLS7
Committee ChairBender, Catherine M.cbe100@pitt.eduCBE100
Committee ChairMcCue, MichaelMMccue@pitt.eduMMCCUE
Date: 10 September 2014
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 26 March 2014
Approval Date: 10 September 2014
Submission Date: 29 July 2014
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 82
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences > Rehabilitation Science and Technology
Degree: MS - Master of Science
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: breast cancer anastrozole work rehabilitation functional limitations
Date Deposited: 10 Sep 2014 19:32
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 14:22


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