(HealthDay News) — Being unemployed due to a primary central nervous system (CNS) tumor is associated with higher symptom burden, according to a study published in Neurology.

Researchers examined the association between unemployment and patient-reported outcomes in 277 patients diagnosed with a primary CNS tumor (227 with a tumor involving the brain).

The likelihood of reporting unemployment was significantly greater for patients with a brain tumor (odds ratio [OR], 3.2; 95% CI, 1.3-7.9; P =.008).

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In all, there were 77 patients who were unemployed due to a primary CNS tumor. These patients reported more functional impairment with walking, washing, dressing, and performing usual activities, as well as reduced health-related quality of life (HRQOL; P <.001 for all).

Unemployed patients were more likely than employed patients to report moderate to severe depressive symptoms (25% and 8%, respectively; OR, 3.7; 95% CI, 1.8-7.8; P <.001). Unemployed patients were also more likely than employed patients to report moderate to severe anxiety symptoms (30% and 15%, respectively; OR, 2.4; 95% CI, 1.3-4.5; P =.005).

Compared with employed patients, unemployed patients with brain tumors reported 3 more symptoms as moderate to severe, on average (P <.001).

The researchers concluded that being unemployed due to a primary CNS tumor “strongly correlated with high symptom burden, functional impairment, psychological distress, and reduced HRQOL, which may be impediments to returning to work that warrant intervention.”

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