Predictors of employment participation following lung transplant

Kate Cumming, Lisa O'Brien, Jane Harris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Background/aim: Limited information about return to productive activities after lung transplantation has been published. The purpose of our study was to identify issues relating to occupational engagement in employment after surgery. Method: We conducted a cross-sectional study of surviving lung transplant recipients from one transplant service in Australia. We used descriptive statistics, chi-square tests and Cox regression to analyse the data. Results: A total of 100 lung transplant recipients completed the assessment (83.3% of 120 eligible surviving recipients). The mean age of respondents was 50 ± 13 years; 45% of the sample were men. Cystic fibrosis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease were the most frequent pre-transplant diagnoses. Fifty-five percent of participants identified employment or alternate occupational engagement prior to transplant. Of those respondents who had not retired from work prior to transplant, 44.2% identified engagement in paid employment after transplantation. Participants who obtained paid employment post-transplantation were more likely to have completed high school (P = 0.05) or worked as managers (P < 0.0001). Conclusion: Occupational therapists should be actively involved in pre- and post-transplantation goal setting and intervention to support return to work. Pre-transplant, participation in any amount of voluntary or paid employment or study will maintain networks, skills, and confidence. Post-transplant, while physician encouragement is known as a key predictor of return to work, occupational therapist support can address function and activity components of work participation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)347-351
Number of pages5
JournalAustralian Occupational Therapy Journal
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2016


  • employment
  • lung transplantation
  • occupational therapy
  • respiratory

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