Employment in Patients With Renal Replacement Therapy
Aim: To determine the prevalence and rate of employment of patients on renal replacement therapy (RRT) for end-stage renal disease (ESRD), to study the difference in the rate of employment between patients on hemodialysis (HD) and those with functioning kidney transplant (FKT) and to compare the rate of employment with patients’ opinions about their working ability and determine the possible reasons for the presumed disproportion.
Methods: 220 RRT patients (126 on HD and 94 with FKT) at the University Hospital Centre Osijek were surveyed. We created and used a questionnaire about the level of education, occupation, employment, professional timeline during the course of RRT, personal opinion about working ability and potential reasons for unemployment. Research was conducted during April and May 2017. The data were analyzed using SPSS (version 16.0. Inc., Chicago, IL, USA).
Results: At the time of our research, 13.7% of patients on RRT were employed. Employment of FKT patients prevailed, without significant difference compared with dialyzed patients of working age (15 to 65 years old). 38.3% of patients in that age group felt capable of working. Transplantation did not improve access to employment. Highly educated people were employed more frequently. The main reasons for unemployment were poor health caused by CKD, advanced age, and employers’ unwillingness to hire chronically ill persons because of the potential need to adjust working hours.
Conclusion: CKD reduced working ability and employment opportunities. Only a minority of patients on RRT were employed. Kidney transplantation did not increase the rate of employment. Patients should therefore be provided with education, appropriate guidelines and support for finding employment.
(Đukić M, Zibar L. Employment in Patients With Renal Replacement Therapy. SEEMEDJ 2019; 3(1); 11-20)
KEYWORDS: employment; chronic kidney disease; kidney transplantation; renal replacement therapy; work capacity