Background: The aim of lung-transplantation is the improvement of survival and quality of life. Both entities are reflected by return-to-work after transplantation. This study first investigated return to work in Germany.
Aims and objectives: Epidemiology and factors influencing employment after lung-transplantation were studied.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was performed in a single university center. 531 patients were included between September 2009 and March 2010 and all patients completed a 38 � item questionnaire including evaluation of physical and social status. Functional parameters and demographic data were included in the analysis additionally.
Results: Of 531 patients that were included in the study, 38% were working at the time-point of study. We found a significant association between educational degree (HR 2.6; 95% CI 1.7 � 4, p = 0.0001), physical fitness (HR 2; 95% CI 1.3 � 3.2, p = 0.001), working less than 6 months before transplantation (HR 4; 95% CI 2 � 8) and family situation (HR 2.1; 95% CI 1.3 � 3.5, p = 0.002). Patients started median 11 months after transplantation re-employment; they had about 10 days absent from work per year because of illness. There were no differences in regard to chronic organ dysfunction or type of transplantation or underlying disease.
Conclusion: Return-to-work in Germany is comparable to international data. As no health related risk but improved quality of life was found, patients should be encouraged to return-to-work.