The physicians in charge of 15 German hemodialysis units furnished data on 713 dialysis patients. Data relating to the vocational status were examined for 612 patients aged 60 years or below. It was found that the current working status varies with psychological and social factors. The data show that the vocational status is importantly influenced by the premorbid profession, the level of schooling and by the conditions of the local labor market. With the exception of severe complications or secondary diseases, no relation existed between the somatic state and the current working status. As assessed by the physicians in charge, most dialysis patients were able to work part time, but unable to work full time. Lack of facilities for, or financial disincentives against, part time employment are felt to be the single most important obstacle to vocational rehabilitation of dialysis patients.

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