Work status and work ability of patients receiving kidney replacement therapy: results from a European survey

Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2022 Sep 22;37(10):2022-2033. doi: 10.1093/ndt/gfab300.


Background: Employment is important for the quality of life and financial security of patients of working age receiving kidney replacement therapy (KRT). We aimed to examine self-reported work status and general, physical and mental work ability and to determine associations between demographic, disease-related, work-related and macroeconomic factors and employment. .

Methods: Europeans from 37 countries, ages 19-65 years, treated with dialysis or kidney transplantation, filled out the web-based or paper-based cross-sectional EDITH kidney patient survey between November 2017 and January 2019. We performed descriptive analyses and multivariable generalized logistic mixed models.

Results: Of the 3544 patients, 36.5% were employed and working [25.8% of dialysis patients, 53.9% of kidney transplant recipients (KTRs)]. The mean general work ability was 5.5 out of 10 (dialysis: 4.8, KTRs: 6.5). Non-working patients (all: 4.1, dialysis: 3.9, KTRs: 4.7) scored lower than working patients (all: 7.7, dialysis 7.3, KTRs: 8.0). Working dialysis patients scored lower on physical and mental work ability (7.1 and 8.1) than working KTRs (8.0 and 8.4; P < 0.001). Impaired physical work ability (42.7%) was more prevalent than impaired mental work ability (26.7%). Male sex, age 40-49 years, higher education, home dialysis or kidney transplantation as current treatment, treatment history including kidney transplantation, absence of diabetes mellitus, better general work ability and higher country gross domestic product were positively associated with employment (P < 0.05).

Conclusions: Low employment rates and impaired work ability were prevalent among European patients receiving KRT. Demographic, disease-related, work-related and macro-economic factors were associated with employment.

Keywords: ESRD; chronic haemodialysis; dialysis; kidney transplantation; peritoneal dialysis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic* / therapy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Life
  • Renal Dialysis*
  • Renal Replacement Therapy / methods
  • Work Capacity Evaluation
  • Young Adult