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Work participation in Q-fever patients and patients with Legionnaires' disease: a 12-month cohort study.

Loenhout, J.A.F. van, Houtvast, J.L.A., Akkermans, R.P., Donders, N.C.G.M., Vercoulen, J.H., Paget, W.J., Velden, K. van der. Work participation in Q-fever patients and patients with Legionnaires' disease: a 12-month cohort study. Scandinavian Journal of Public Health: 2015, 43(3), 294-301
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Aims
The aim of the study was to assess long-term work participation of Q-fever patients and patients with Legionnaires’ disease, and to identify which factors are associated with a reduced ork participation in Q-fever patients.

Methods
Q-fever patients participated at four time points until 12 months after onset of illness, patients with Legionnaires’ disease only at 12 months. Data were self-reported using questionnaires on the amount of hours that patients worked, and on ciodemographic, medical, psychosocial and lifestyle aspects.

Results
Our study included 336 Q-fever patients and 190 patients with Legionnaires’ disease. There was a decrease in the proportion of Q-fever patients with reduced work participation over time, from 45% at 3 months to 19% at 12 months (versus 15% of patients with Legionnaires’ disease at 12 months). Factors associated with reduced work participation of Q-fever patients in a multivariate model were having symptoms, a higher level of sorrow, being a former smoker (compared to never smoking), not consuming any alcohol and following additional treatment for the long-term health effects of Q-fever.

Conclusions
Despite an increase in work participation of Q-fever patients over time, almost one in five Q-fever patients and one in six patients with Legionnaires’ disease still suffer from reduced work participation at 12 months. Occupational and insurance physicians need to be aware of the long-term impact of these diseases on work participation. (aut. ref.)