Employment and quality of life in liver transplant recipients



The purposes of liver transplantation (LT) include the extension of survival, improvement in quality of life, and the return of the recipient as a contributing member of society. Employment is one measure of the ability to return to society. The aim of this study is to determine the factors affecting employment/subemployment after LT. A total of 308 adult liver transplant recipients who were seen at the University of California, Los Angeles were administered the Medical Outcomes Short Form 36 (SF-36) and a questionnaire regarding work history and insurance coverage. Multivariate analysis were used to identify independent variables associated with posttransplantation employment. Interaction terms were used to examine effect modification. Of 308 transplant recipients, 218 (70.8%) worked prior to transplantation, and 78 (27%) worked posttransplantation. Pretransplant variables that were independently associated with posttransplantation employment included the following: lack of disability income (odds ratio [OR] = 1.86; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.32-7.18; P = 0.36); health maintenance organization (HMO)/preferred provider organization (PPO) insurance (OR = 3.08; 95% CI, 1.32-7.18; P < 0.01); the number of hours worked (OR = 1.17; 95% CI, 1.08-1.28; P < 0.01); and the lack of diabetes mellitus (OR = 0.23; 95% CI, 0.70-0.73; P < 0.01). An interaction term between disability income and hours worked prior to transplantation (OR = 0.16; 95 % CI, 0.03-0.83; P = 0.03) was independently associated with posttransplantation employment. In a separate regression model of SF-36 responses, posttransplantation physical functioning (OR = 1.17; 95% CI, 1.10-1.26; P < 0.01) and role-physical (OR = 1.1; 95% CI, 1.02-1.16; P < 0.01) were independently associated with employment after transplantation. In conclusion, HMO or PPO insurance, lack of disability income coverage prior to transplant, the absence of diabetes mellitus, the number of hours worked prior to transplantation, and high physical functioning were associated with posttransplantation employment. Liver Transpl 13:1330–1338, 2007. © 2007 AASLD.