Patients function well at work after kidney transplant

Organ transplantation is a life-saving treatment for many patients

Patients who have undergone a kidney transplant appear to function well at work. After the transplant, they often appear to function better at work than in the period prior to their transplant. This is apparent from research by Tim Knobbe, Daan Kremer and colleagues from the Nephrology department of the UMCG.

They published the results of their research in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology on Tuesday, September 27. According to the researchers, the results of this study contain a clear message to employers.

Organ transplantation is a life-saving treatment for many patients. Due to advancing insights and techniques, the chance of survival after a transplant is still increasing. As a result, more and more attention is being paid to the quality of life of patients after a transplant. Work and pleasure at work contribute strongly to the quality of life. In this study, the researchers therefore examined how many kidney transplant patients are employed and how they rate their functioning at work. Until now little was known about the labor participation of kidney transplant patients. In addition, it had never been investigated how these patients function at work.

668 participating kidney transplant patients
For this study, the researchers analyzed data from 668 working-life renal transplant patients. They had all undergone a kidney transplant more than a year ago. All analyzed patients are participants in the TransplantLines study of the UMCG.

Majority work and function well at work
The research shows that 56% of kidney transplant patients have paid work and that they function well at work. Their functioning at work is comparable to that of two control groups, consisting of a group from the general working population and a group of working potential kidney donors. Despite the fact that kidney transplant patients are often fatigued and experience side effects of immunosuppressive drugs, they function well at work. According to the researchers, this can be explained by their high motivation or by any changes at work that ensure a good balance between their capacity and tasks.

Function better after transplant than before
The researchers also compared functioning at work before and after transplantation. This shows that this group of patients indicated that they function better at work after the transplant than before the transplant.

Clear message to employers
According to researcher Tim Knobbe, the results of this study send a clear message to employers. ‘It is clear that kidney transplant recipients can function very well at work. This can help reduce any stigma about work and functioning at work after a kidney transplant. In addition, these results may contribute to the education that patients with kidney failure receive about what to expect from life after a kidney transplant’.

The publication in CJASN can be read here.

The study used data from patients who participated in the TransplantLines study at the UMCG. TransplantLines was set up in 2015 by Prof. Dr. Stephan Bakker, together with a large group of researchers from various departments at the UMCG. This study was specifically designed to investigate the long-term consequences of transplantation. Thousands of transplant patients are now taking part. For this study of work and functioning at work, the researchers selected data from 668 participants in the working life stage who had had a kidney transplant at least one year ago.

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Original title:
After kidney transplantation, patients function well at work
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Healthcare Professionals, Students

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