Return to work and everyday life following out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. Results from the national survey, DenHeart

Maiken Hedegaard Nielsen, Trine Bernholdt Rasmussen, Mette Kirstine Wagner, Ditte Bekker, Sofie Moesgaard Bruvik, Ola Ekholm, Selina Kikkenborg Berg, Anne Vinggaard Christensen, Rikke Elmose Mols, Charlotte Brun Thorup, Lars Thrysoee, Britt Borregaard*

*Corresponding author for this work


BACKGROUND: With increasing survival rates following out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA), knowledge on return to everyday life, including return to work, should be getting increasing attention.

OBJECTIVES: To i) describe patterns of labor market affiliation up to 12 months after discharge among a workforce population and to, ii) investigate the association between clinical and sociodemographic characteristics, self-reported health at discharge and a composite endpoint of prolonged sick leave and leaving the workforce after 3 and 12 months.

METHODS: Data from the national survey, DenHeart, were used, including measures of self-reported health: HeartQoL and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), combined with register-based follow-up.

RESULTS: During the study period, n = 572 OHCA patients were discharged from five Heart centres, n = 184 were part of the workforce. At discharge, 60% were on paid sick leave, and 20% at 12 months. Age (per one year older) increased the odds of experiencing the composite endpoint at 3 and 12 months (3 months: OR 1.06 95%CI 1.03-1.10, 12 months: OR 1.06 95%CI 1.03-1.09) among the total population (n = 184). Self-reported health at discharge was not associated with the endpoint.

CONCLUSION: One-fifth of the OHCA survivors at a working-age prior to the OHCA was still on paid sick leave after 12 months. Increasing age was the only characteristic associated with a composite endpoint of prolonged sick leave or leaving the workforce at 3 and 12 months after discharge. With increasing survival rates, healthcare professionals need to support the population in resuming daily life, including returning to the workforce, when relevant.

Original languageEnglish
JournalHeart and Lung: Journal of Acute and Critical Care
Pages (from-to)54-61
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023


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