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Keywords:

  • depression;
  • employment;
  • leisure activity;
  • liver transplantation;
  • nursing;
  • self-efficacy;
  • social function;
  • social participation;
  • symptom distress;
  • work ability

Abstract

Aim

To examine the effect of self-efficacy, subjective work ability, depression and symptom distress on and to provide a description of, the employment and leisure activities of liver transplant recipients.

Background

Return to work and leisure activities have become an important aspect of life for liver transplant recipients worldwide. An investigation of the factors that influence the employment status and leisure activities has been recommended as a means to help transplant recipients restore their productivity.

Design

This was a cross-sectional, descriptive and correlational study in 2010.

Methods

A convenience sampling method was used. Data were collected using a set of questionnaires that were administered retrospectively. A total of 106 liver transplant patients were included in this study.

Results

The post-transplantation employment rate was 45·2%. The positive predictors of employment were higher subjective work ability and higher symptom distress. Gender (female), monthly family income (<US $2,000), depression and unemployment pre-transplantation were negatively associated with employment status. Of the 106 patients, 62 (58·5%) were in the low-diversity group (score of less than 3) of leisure activities. Monthly family income of <US $2,000 was associated with a low diversity of participation in leisure activities.

Conclusion

Subjective work ability and symptom distress were positive predictors of employment, while depression was a negative predictor. Nurses in the transplant team should focus on increasing a sense of confidence, decreasing depressive symptoms and monitoring the severity of symptoms to improve the employment status of liver transplant recipients.