Employment in adults with cystic fibrosis

K Targett, S Bourke, E Nash, E Murphy, J Ayres, G Devereux

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Background Chronic ill-health may significantly impact on an individual’s ability to work. This not only relates to disease severity but also to psychosocial factors such as illness perception and coping strategies.

Aims To explore the factors associated with employment status in adults with cystic fibrosis (CF).

Methods Subjects recruited from adult CF clinics in Aberdeen, Birmingham and Newcastle completed questionnaires assessing health-related quality of life (HRQoL), workplace productivity (presenteeism) and employment. Clinical data indicative of disease severity were also recorded.

Results A total of 254 subjects were recruited, 41 from Aberdeen, 63 from Birmingham and 150 from Newcastle. Sixty-five per cent of subjects were in employment or education. If employed/self-employed, median hours worked was 37.3h/week. Forty per cent reported stopping a job due to CF; 47% felt CF had affected career choice and 24% changed duties because of CF. Ten per cent had taken a pay cut and 23% reported workplace discrimination due to CF. Multivariate modelling demonstrated that employment status was independently associated with educational attainment, centre and the HRQoL domains of role and health perception and is independent of clinical parameters of disease severity.

Conclusions Adults with CF reported that CF impacted on their ability to work. Employment appeared to be most strongly associated with educational attainment, locality and HRQoL domains and not clinical parameters of severity. Specific guidance is needed for both adults with CF and potential employers, with appropriate targeted interventions aimed at improving health perceptions and coping strategies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-94
Number of pages8
JournalOccupational Medicine
Issue number2
Early online date24 Dec 2013
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2014


  • cystic fibrosis
  • disability
  • employment
  • work


Dive into the research topics of 'Employment in adults with cystic fibrosis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this