Background: As a result of prolonged survival, more patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) participate in the labour force. The aim of this study was to evaluate their education, occupation levels and risk factors for work disability.
Method: 207 patients answered a self-administered questionnaire about their educational level and work status. Independently, medical records were reviewed for illness severity indicators.
Results: 39 patients (19%) were students, 117 (57%) were in the labour force, 13 (6%) were seeking employment and 38 (18%) were inactive. CF patients had a higher educational level and were more likely to hold skilled jobs and to work part time than the general population. FEV1 and educational level were the strongest predictive factors of disability.
Conclusion: Many CF patients have access to professional life. Their higher educational levels improve the chances of attaining employment, which highlights the need for career counselling. Working part time helps to maintain employment despite declining health.
Copyright Â© 2011 European Cystic Fibrosis Society. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.