Predictors of employment status among African Americans with sickle cell disease

J Health Care Poor Underserved. 2010 Nov;21(4):1124-37. doi: 10.1353/hpu.2010.0945.


Adults living with sickle cell disease (SCD) have extremely high rates of unemployment; however, very little is known about factors that contribute to their vocational outcomes. This study examined demographic, illness perception, and psychological variables as predictors of employment status among 115 adult respondents who completed a cross-sectional survey as part of the Cooperative Study of Sickle Cell Disease. Logistic regression analysis indicated that gender, assertiveness, and perceived impact of SCD were unique predictors of employment status. Women were 2.88 times more likely to be employed than men, and the odds of being employed increased by a factor of 2.47 for each one unit decrease in assertiveness. More favorable perceptions of SCD were also associated with a two-fold increase in employment. The results suggest that demographic and psychosocial factors may play a more important role in predicting employment outcomes in adults with SCD than previously recognized.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anemia, Sickle Cell / ethnology*
  • Anemia, Sickle Cell / psychology
  • Assertiveness
  • Attitude to Health / ethnology
  • Black or African American / psychology
  • Black or African American / statistics & numerical data*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Employment / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Sex Factors
  • Unemployment / statistics & numerical data