Psychosocial similarities and differences among employed and unemployed heart transplant recipients


This study investigated the association between employment and selected psychosocial factors in 132 heart transplant recipients from five medical centers. A questionnaire was used to determine employment status and evaluate the psychosocial variables. Variables were employment, self-esteem, identity stability, preoccupation with self, control over destiny, independence versus dependence, depression, anxiety, quality of life, and body image. Multivariate analysis of variance was used to explore whether the four employment status groups (employed, not employed, retired, and disabled) differed on the psychosocial attributes. Analysis of employment status by rejection and infection revealed no differences among groups. Univariate F- ratios for employment status showed significant differences on all psychosocial variables except anxiety and preoccupation with self. Thus it appears that employment is associated with a number of important psychosocial factors. Overall, the employed and retired groups scored the highest on the psychosocial variables tested. The disabled group displayed significantly higher scores on the psychosocial variables than the not-employed group. It may be that the disabled group has a more socially accepted identity than the not-employed group.

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Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation