Inability to work and need for disability pension among long-term survivors of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation

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Return to work is critical goal following HSCT. However, late effects may impede return to normal activity after HSCT. In the case of inability to work, patients may need a work disability pension to ensure a reasonable livelihood. This study evaluated inability to work and need for disability pension among long-term survivors and analyzed possible determinants of need for social support. This retrospective, single-center study included all HSCT patients surviving ≥ 5 years seen at the outpatient clinic between January 2013 and August 2015. There were 203 patients, median age at HSCT 35 years, and 50 years at time of study; median time between HSCT and study control was 12 years; 178 had allo-HSCT, 187 had a malignant disease. At time of study, 156 (77%) were working full or part-time, 47 (23%) were not working. In total, 76 (37%) survivors were receiving a work disability pension compared to 3.17% of the Swiss working population. Patients with a disability pension were significantly older at HSCT, were more often living alone, had more active physical and mental late effects, and higher score of fatigue compared to patients without. These findings underline the importance of screening for employment and the social consequences of non-employment in long-term survivors after HSCT.

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