Article Details

Research Database: Article Details

Citation:  Rumrill, P.D. (2009). Challenges and opportunities related to the employment of people with multiple sclerosis. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 31 (2), 83-90.
Title:  Challenges and opportunities related to the employment of people with multiple sclerosis
Authors:  Rumrill, P.D.
Year:  2009
Journal/Publication:  Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation
Publisher:  IOS Press
Full text:   
Peer-reviewed?  Yes
NIDILRR-funded?  No
Research design:  Qualitative research

Structured abstract:

Background:  Many medical and physical symptoms, unpredictability, and negative consequences in just about every aspect of life are a reality for people living with multiple sclerosis (MS). Employment acquisition and retention are major concerns for those with MS.
Purpose:  The purpose of this article is to examine the challenges facing people with MS as they try to gain or return to employment following their diagnosis.
Findings:  Only 35%-45% of people with MS in the United States are currently employed. With a number this low employment concerns are prevalent. The top five concerns were noted as follows with the percentage of people with MS reporting dissatisfaction with that concern in parenthesis: a. adequate financial help to stay on the job (81%), b. have access to reasonably priced prescription medication (78%), c. know their rights regarding job-related physical examinations (77%), d. have assistance in coping with stress on the job (76%), e. know about available employment and social services (75%). American women with MS are nearly twice as likely as men with MS to be unemployed. People with MS in lower socioeconomic strata are more likely to be unemployed. Up to 30% of unemployed people with MS attribute the physical symptoms as the cause of their unemployment.
Conclusions:  Rehabilitation professionals can target interventions towards people with MS to these specific challenges.

Disabilities served:  Multiple sclerosis