Introduction The aim of this study was to examine the health-and work outcomes of renal transplant recipients long-term after transplantation as well as the pattern of work status, work ability and disability benefits during the end-stage renal disease (ESRD) trajectory that precedes transplantation. Methods 34 transplant recipients completed interviews 3, 13 months and >6 years post-transplantation. Health status (SF-36), work ability (WAI), and fatigue (CIS) were assessed by questionnaires, clinical data were derived from medical charts, and data on functional limitations were extracted from the social security system database. The work status trajectory preceding transplantation was examined retrospectively. Results Of the 34 third wave transplant recipients, 29% were severely fatigued. Compared with the general working population, recipients experienced worse general health and less vitality. Non-working recipients had worse renal function and general health, and more limitations in physical functioning compared to working recipients. The WAI score indicated moderate work ability for 60% of the employed recipients. Although 67% were employed (45% parttime), 30% of those working still received some disability benefits. Social insurance physicians found variable levels of functional limitations. The mean work status trajectory showed more sickness absence and less work ability during dialysis, but after transplantation, both work status and work ability generally improved. Conclusions Transplant recipients have a compromised health status which leads to functional limitations and disability. Although work status improved after transplantation, a substantial number of the transplant recipients received disability benefits. The negative health consequences of anti-rejection medications may play an important role in long-term work ability. These results indicate that a 'new' kidney has advantages over dialysis with respect to work, but does not necessarily leads to 'normal' work outcomes.
|Tijdschrift||Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation|
|Nummer van het tijdschrift||3|
|Status||Published - sep.-2011|