®, a division of DaVita HealthCare Partners Inc. (NYSE: DVA) and a leading provider of kidney care services, will highlight the benefits of maintaining employment for dialysis patients this week through a social media campaign spanning several platforms.
The United States Renal Data System (USRDS) shows that 50 percent of all dialysis patients are of working age, yet only
one in five
of those patients work. Additionally, a
showed that two out of three patients who were working in the year prior to dialysis quit their jobs within the first four months of beginning dialysis treatments, a result likely driven by outside pressure and the fear of the unknown.
But, for some patients, that isn’t the case.
“When I learned I had to go on dialysis, I was working at the time. I never even thought that I would stop working,” said Julie Spreckelmeyer, marketing and communications professional and DaVita peritoneal dialysis patient. “My goal was to keep working and to keep up my regular lifestyle.”
DaVita aims to raise awareness of the benefits of continuing to work because research has shown that patients who remain employed are happier, healthier and more likely to get a kidney transplant:
- Dialysis patients who continue to work after starting treatment are 21 percent less likely to have depression (source)
- In a study measuring Patient Reported Outcomes, employed ESRD patients scored higher than those who were unemployed in many areas (source)
- Dialysis patients who maintain employment are twice as likely to get a kidney transplant (source)
Additionally, patients who continue to work also typically describe themselves as more financially secure.
“Social media is yet another channel where we, as a dialysis provider, can educate patients about the benefits of maintaining employment,” said Allen R. Nissenson, M.D., chief medical officer at DaVita. “The benefits of continuing to work are great and with this effort we can help shift the end stage renal disease program back to one of rehabilitation and health, rather than solely maintaining a chronic illness.”