• work;
  • disability;
  • quality of life

Abstract:  Employment after orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT) indicates recipients’ physical/psychosocial adjustment. Our aim was to determine clinical, socioeconomic and health-related quality of life parameters influencing employment after OLT. Questionnaire on demographics, medical conditions, alcohol and drug use before/after OLT, and a validated 12-Item Short Form Health Survey (SF-12) were mailed to 126 adult OLT patients. Stepwise logistic regression was conducted to identify best predictors of post-OLT employment. Among non-retirees, 49% were employed after OLT. The predictors of employment were: employment status, income, disability status before OLT and Model of End Stage Liver Disease score. These variables had prediction rate of 82%. Individuals working during the five yr prior to OLT were likely to return to work (p < 0.0001), particularly those who held a job for >6 months prior to OLT (p < 0.0001), income >$80 000 before OLT compared with <$30 000 (p = 0.036). Patients receiving Social Security Insurance (SSI) payment for ≥6 months prior to OLT, were less likely to work (p = 0.0005). Severity/duration of liver dysfunction prior to OLT did not correlate with employment. Sense of physical health was poorer in those employed after OLT than in unemployed (p = 0.0003). Socioeconomic factors were the most important predictors of post-OLT employment.