State rehabilitation services tailored to employment status among cancer survivors

Chung Yi Chiu, Fong Chan, David Strauser, Michael Feuerstein, Nicole Ditchman, Elizabeth Cardoso, John O'Neill, Veronica Muller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose. Previous analyses of vocational rehabilitation services for unemployed cancer survivors indicated that counseling and guidance, job search assistance, and job placement services are significantly associated with increased odds for employment. However, many cancer survivors with jobs to return to may require vocational interventions that are different from unemployed cancer survivors. It is unclear whether the public rehabilitation system provides vocational services that are based on the work status of cancer survivors rather than providing the same set of services for all cancer survivors. This study examined whether differences in the types of services were indeed based on the employment status of those with a history of cancer at the time of application. Methods. Administrative data on 1,460 cancer survivors were obtained through the US Rehabilitation Services Administration Case Service Report (RSA-911) dataset for fiscal year 2007. Data on demographic characteristics and vocational service patterns were extracted and analyzed. Multiple discriminant analysis was used to identify differential services received by cancer survivors based on employment status at time of application for vocational rehabilitation services. Results. Results of the multiple discriminant analysis indicated one significant canonical discriminant function, with Wilks's λ =.92, χ 2(19, N = 1,456) = 114.87, p <.001. The correlations between the discriminating variables and the significant canonical discriminant function were highest for diagnoses and treatment (-.526), job placement (.487), transportation (.419), job search (.403), vocational training (.384), job readiness (.344), university training (.307), and rehabilitation technology (-.287). The group centroids along the significant discriminant function (the distance of each group from the center of the canonical function) indicated that the employed applicant group (-.542) and the unemployed applicant group (.153) can be differentiated based on vocational rehabilitation services received, with the employed applicant group receiving primarily diagnostic and treatment services and rehabilitation technology/job accommodation services, while the unemployed applicant group received more vocational training, job seeking skills training, and job placement services. Conclusions. Employed cancer survivors who are at risk of losing their job and unemployed cancer survivors who are looking for a job receive different vocational services tailored to needs, suggesting that state vocational rehabilitation services for cancer survivors is responsive to individual client needs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)89-99
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Occupational Rehabilitation
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2014


  • Cancer survivors
  • Employment
  • Multiple discriminant analysis
  • Vocational rehabilitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Occupational Therapy


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