Background: Many liver transplant recipients return to work, but their patterns of employment are unclear. We examine patterns of employment 5 years after liver transplantation. Methods: First-time liver transplant recipients ages 18-60 years transplanted from 2002 to 2009 and surviving at least 5 years were identified in the United Network for Organ Sharing registry. Recipients' post-transplant employment status was classified as follows: (i) never employed; (ii) returned to work within 2 years and remained employed (continuous employment); (iii) returned to work within 2 years, but was subsequently unemployed (intermittent employment); or (iv) returned to work ≥3 years post-transplant (delayed employment). Results: Of 28 306 liver recipients identified during the study period, 12 998 survived at least 5 years and contributed at least 1 follow-up of employment status. A minority of patients (4654; 36%) were never employed, while 3780 (29%) were continuously employed, 3027 (23%) were intermittently employed, and 1537 (12%) had delayed employment. In multivariable logistic regression analysis, predictors of intermittent and delayed employment included lower socioeconomic status, higher local unemployment rates, and post-transplant comorbidities or complications. Conclusion: Never, intermittent, and delayed employment are common after liver transplantation. Socioeconomic and labor market characteristics may add to clinical factors that limit liver transplant recipients’ continuous employment.
- liver transplantation
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