Association of Job Characteristics and Functional Impairments on Return to Work After ARDS

Han Su, Hilaire J. Thompson, Susanne May, Victor D. Dinglas, Catherine L. Hough, Megan M. Hosey, Ramona O. Hopkins, Biren B. Kamdar, Dale M. Needham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background: Joblessness is common after ARDS, but related risk factors are not fully understood. Research Question: What is the association between survivors’ pre-ARDS workload and post-ARDS functional impairment, pain, and fatigue with their return to work (RTW) status? Study Design and Methods: The U.S. Occupational Information Network (O∗NET) was used to determine pre-ARDS workload for participants in the ARDS Network Long-Term Outcomes Study (ALTOS). Post-ARDS functional impairment was assessed using the Mini-Mental State Examination and SF-36 Physical Functioning, Social Functioning, and Mental Health sub-scales, and categorized as either no impairments, only psychosocial impairment, physical with low psychosocial impairment, or physical with high psychosocial impairment. Post-ARDS pain and fatigue were assessed using the SF-36 pain item and Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy—Fatigue Scale fatigue scale, respectively. Generalized linear mixed modeling methods were used to evaluate associations among pre-ARDS workload, post-ARDS functional impairment, and symptoms of pain and fatigue with post-ARDS RTW. Results: Pre-ARDS workload was not associated with post-ARDS RTW. However, as compared with survivors with no functional impairment, those with only psychosocial impairment (OR [CI]: 0.18 [0.06-0.50]), as well as physical impairment plus either low psychosocial impairment (0.08 [0.03-0.22]) or high psychosocial impairment (0.01 [0.003-0.05]) had lower odds of working. Pain (0.06 [0.03-0.14]) and fatigue (0.07 [0.03-0.16]) were also negatively associated with RTW. Interpretation: For previously employed survivors of ARDS, post-ARDS psychosocial and physical impairments, pain, and fatigue were negatively associated with RTW, whereas pre-ARDS workload was not associated. These findings are important for designing and implementing vocational interventions for ARDS survivors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)509-518
Number of pages10
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2021


  • employment
  • functional ability
  • intensive care unit
  • outcomes
  • symptom

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Association of Job Characteristics and Functional Impairments on Return to Work After ARDS'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this