DaVita Medical Insights

Study: The Association between Employment and Kidney Transplant Status

 

For patients with end stage renal disease (ESRD), receiving a kidney transplant can offer the best long-term treatment option. However, to qualify for placement on the active transplant list requires a high level of motivation and engagement. Many factors that dialysis patients perceive as barriers to maintaining employment (for example, access to transportation, depression or lack of motivation) could also make it more difficult to navigate the transplant process. Utilizing information that is routinely collected as part of social workers’ assessment and care, DaVita Clinical Research performed an evaluation of the potential relationship between employment and kidney transplant status.

The evaluation found that, compared to unemployed patients, employed patients were more likely to have a transplant status listed as “active” (34 percent versus 19 percent) and less likely to have transplant status listed as “denied” or “pending patient follow-up” (11 percent versus 20 percent and 20 percent versus 25 percent, respectively). Among patients who had expressed interest in receiving a transplant, those who were employed were more likely to progress through the qualification steps to active transplant status than those who were unemployed.

Initiatives designed to encourage dialysis patients to continue working or to return to employment may result in an increase in the number of patients who are able to successfully complete the transplant qualification process. However, it is not known whether this relationship may be an indication of better overall health and health literacy in employed patients, which could contribute to a greater ability to navigate and manage the complicated transplant referral and evaluation process.

For more information, read the research poster here.

Deborah Evans, LCSW

Deborah Evans, LCSW

Deborah Evans, LCSW, is a manager in DaVita's social work department and helps to oversee training, support and project management for more than 1,800 social workers across the country. Ms. Evans is involved in various workgroups and projects, including the Empowering Patients Program (which utilizes cognitive-behavioral and mindfulness techniques to improve patients’ quality of life and adherence to treatment) and Life Connections (a pilot that assists patients with vocational goals and challenges). She also edits and provides content for social work publications, training and support. Deborah worked in mental health for several years before coming to DaVita in 1996.