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Abstract

The objective of this study was to study the factors affecting employment after liver transplantation. The employment status and health status of 203 adult liver transplant recipients was assessed retrospectively in a survey comprising an employment questionnaire, the Sickness Impact Profile (SID), and the Medical Outcomes Survey (MOS). The patient population consisted of all surviving adult patients who had undergone liver transplantation between 1982 and 1992 at our institution and who had survived a minimum of 9 months. Fiftyseven percent of the recipients were employed and 43% of the recipients were unemployed. Eighteen percent of the recipients considered themselves not well enough to work. Other reasons cited for not working in the unemployed patients were early retirement (8%), return to school (3%), family reasons (3%), no work available (3%), and chose not to work (3%). Patient age, duration of disability before transplantion, and type of job before transplantation significantly affected posttransplantation employment status. Health status measurements predicting employment were ambulation, home management, physical functioning, and pain. Older recipients and those who were continuosly out of the workforce for several years before transplantation were the least likely to return to gainful employment after liver transplantation. These findings have implications for assessing the success of liver transplantation and the implementation of strategies to fully rehabilitate patients after liver grafting. (Hepatology 1995;21:140–144).