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J Heart Lung Transplant. 1993 Jan-Feb;12(1 Pt 1):46-53; discussion 53-4.

Returning to work after heart transplantation.

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  • 1Oklahoma Transplantation Institute, Baptist Medical Center, Oklahoma City 73112-4481.


The purpose of this study was to determine what factors influence a patient's return to work after heart transplantation. Two hundred fifty patients who had undergone heart transplantation were surveyed at seven regional centers in the United States (five of which were Medicare-certified). Of these patients, 45% were employed, 36% were unemployed, 13% were medically disabled, and 6% had retired. A stepwise discriminant analysis resulted in the selection of six variables that helped differentiate those patients who did and those who did not return to work after the transplantation. The factors associated with a patient's return to work included (1) self report of being physically able to work, (2) no loss of health insurance, (3) longer length of time after transplantation, (4) education level of more than 12 years, (5) no loss of disability income, and (6) shorter length of disability before heart transplantation. This information could accurately profile 91% of the patients who were employed, 69% of the patients who were unemployed, and 80% for the entire group. The implication of this study is that social rehabilitation is not synonymous with the medical results of heart transplantation. More attention to social rehabilitation is required if heart transplant recipients are to enjoy a better quality of life and become fully productive members of the community.

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