Effects of children’s cancer diagnosis on parents’ income

Income from work dropped to the lowest level around the time of cancer diagnosis, with swift recovery for fathers but not for mothers.

Published: 13th February 2018 04:47 PM  |   Last Updated: 13th February 2018 04:47 PM   |  A+A-

Image used for representational purpose

By ANI

WASHINGTON D.C: Ever wondered what are the effects of a child’s cancer diagnoses on parents’ income?

Well, a new study has indicated that social benefits often ease the financial burdens experienced by the parents of children recently diagnosed with cancer, but mothers experienced persistently lower income after benefits diminished.

The findings from the Sweden-based study revealed that additional efforts may be needed to address the financial hardships experienced by the mothers of children with cancer.

It found that while children are being treated for cancer, their parents might often deal with significant challenges--from providing full-time support to their children as they go through treatments and hospital visits to dealing with their own psychological distress--that can disrupt work and lead to reduced income and financial difficulties.

Few studies have looked at how government support programs compensate the costs of parenting a child with cancer.

To investigate this issue, a team led by Ayako Hiyoshi and Emma Hovén, gathered information from Swedish national registers and examined the trajectories of parents' income from different sources.

Parents of children with cancer diagnosed between 2004 and 2009 were identified and matched with reference parents, or parents of children without cancer. In total, 20,091 families were followed from the year before the diagnosis to a maximum of eight years.

The team found that around the time of the child's cancer diagnosis, the total income was on average up to six percent higher in mothers of children with cancer compared with reference mothers, but no differences were seen in fathers.

Income from work dropped to the lowest level around the time of cancer diagnosis, with swift recovery for fathers but not for mothers. Sickness and childcare-related benefits, which compensated for the income loss, were up to six times larger for parents of children with cancer than for reference parents. However, as social benefits diminished after about three years for parents of children with cancer, mothers' total income became lower than that of reference mothers, and the gap persisted over time.

"A significant and unexpected finding was that, although income from employment stayed lower for several years for mothers, total income was higher for mothers of children with cancer around the time of the child's cancer diagnosis when the compensation from social benefits was included," said Dr Hiyoshi.

"The persistently lower income from employment for mothers of children with cancer compared with mothers of cancer-free children implies potential long-term consequences for the mothers of children with cancer, including their career and future pension in old age”, concluded Dr Hiyoshi.

 The findings from the study are published online in CANCER, a journal of the American Cancer Society.

Stay up to date on all the latest Health news with The New Indian Express App. Download now

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

IPL2018