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[Work capacity in patients on hemodialysis].

  • Orlić, Lidija
  • Matić-Glazar, Durdica
  • Sladoje Martinović, Branka
  • Vlahović, Ana
Published Article
Acta medica Croatica : c̆asopis Hravatske akademije medicinskih znanosti
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2004
PMID: 15125397


The quality of life is considerably impaired in patients on regular hemodialysis has been changed. It is difficult to determine it because there are no general definitions or measuring instruments. There are objective and subjective components of the quality of life, one among them being occupational ability. During the progression of chronic renal disease (CRD) to terminal renal failure (TRF) physical activity of the patients becomes poorer. In this stage, their physical activity is by 40-60% below the value expected for the same healthy age cohort. The intention of this analysis was to determine occupational ability in patients on regular hemodialysis. The analysis included 161 patients on hemodialysis, 78 (48.5%) female and 83 (51.5%) male, mean age 61.2 +/- 13.1 years, and mean time on hemodialysis was 54 +/- 71.9 months. All patients filled-out a self-administered questionnaire on schooling and occupational ability. The cause of TRF was glomerulonephritis in 45 (26.8%), diabetes mellitus in 42 (26.3%), nephrosclerosis in 26 (16.1%), and pyelonephritis in 12 (7.4%) patients. Age distribution was as follows: 0-19 years 1 patient, 20-44 years 14 (8.7%); 45-64 years 64 (39.8%) and 65 years 82 (50.9%) patients. Educational structure: elementary school 65 (40.4%), secondary school 79 (49.1%), college 10 (6.2%), and university 6 (3.7%) patients. Occupational structure: retired 123 (76.4%), housekeeper 20 (12.4%), never employed 4 (2.5%), employed 10 (6.2%), unemployed 2 (1.2%), 1 child and 1 student. Among employed patients there were 7 men and 3 women. Their educational level was as follow: elementary school 1 patient, secondary school 8 patients, college 1 patient. At the beginning of hemodialysis their occupational status was: full-time employment 30 (18.6%) patients, part-time employment 1 patient, longer time on sick-leave payment (3.1%), retired 95 (59%), pupils and students 3, unemployed 2, and 1 child did not attended school. Time interval between the beginning of hemodialysis and retirement was: less than 1 year work 13 (36.1%) patients, 1-2 year work 6 (16.7%), three year work 2 patients, more than 8 year work 2 patients, and 10 year work only 3 patients, for 14, 18 and 26 years each. Two patients lost their job for employer bankruptcy. The judgment of patients regarding their occupational ability was as follows: out of 161 patients, 23 (14.3%) felt fit for work, 12 on full-time and 11 on part-time basis. Occupationally incapable were 46.6% of patients, and 63 felt unable to take care of another person. Some kind of additional activity, like working in garden or taking care of children was reported by 26 patients. The aforementioned results showed that 22.4% of the patients were occupationally active at the time of starting hemodialysis. Many patients were retired after hemodialysis had started. Only 6.2% of hemodialysis patients were occupationally active although 14.3% felt occupationally capable. The main reasons for such a low level of employment were advanced age, diminished physical activity due to the disease, and difficulties associated with the socioeconomic situation in the country.

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