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Keywords:

  • Disability;
  • employment;
  • health insurance;
  • liver transplant;
  • rehabilitation

This study was conducted to examine factors affecting health insurance and employment status in long-term liver transplant (OLT) recipients. All adult primary OLT recipients surviving at least 1 year were surveyed using existing questionnaires. Out of 217 eligible recipients, 186 (86%) responded. The median age of respondents was 55 years with a median survival after OLT of 3.4 years. The majority (98%) of respondents had health insurance coverage. Thirty-four (18%) reported having lost and/or having been denied health insurance since OLT, and 63 (34%) switched health insurance since OLT. Of the 179 that reported employment status, 98 (55%) were employed, including homemakers and students, while 39 (22%) were retired and 42 (24%) unemployed. The majority (76%) of those unemployed cited poor health as the reason for unemployment, followed by 5 (12%) who feared loss of disability or Medicaid benefits. Fourteen reported to have been denied or terminated from employment because of their transplant. In the regression analysis, employment prior to transplantation (odds ratio (OR) = 5.1), age less than 57 (OR = 5.1), physical function score >52.4 (OR = 3.6) and general health score >33.3 (OR = 7.6) were significantly associated with employment. These data may help identify high-risk pre-OLT patients for intervention measures such as work rehabilitation.