Article Details

Research Database: Article Details

Citation:  Roessler, R.T., Rumrill, P.D., Fitzgerald, S.M. (2004). Predictors of employment status for people with multiple sclerosis. Rehabilitation Counseling Bulletin, 47 (2), 96-103.
Title:  Predictors of employment status for people with multiple sclerosis
Authors:  Roessler, R.T., Rumrill, P.D., Fitzgerald, S.M.
Year:  2004
Journal/Publication:  Rehabilitation Counseling Bulletin
Publisher:  Hammill Institute on Disabilities
DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1177/00343552030470020401
Full text:  http://proxy.library.vcu.edu/login?url=http://rcb.sagepub.com/conte...   
Peer-reviewed?  Yes
NIDILRR-funded?  No
Research design:  Survey research

Structured abstract:

Background:  Despite all of the research into employment and multiple sclerosis (MS) there is trouble identifying the factors that lead to job loss. Past research shows the influence of disease and demographic related factors on employment outcomes in adults with MS. There is no data on a large, contemporary sample of adults with MS.
Purpose:  The purpose of this study was to determine the influence of disease and demographic related factors on employment status in adults with MS.
Study sample:  The study sample consisted of 1,310 adults with MS in the United States. Most of the sample was female (78%). The participants had an average age of 50 and most were Caucasian (92%). The participants were very well educated, 97% were high school graduates and 40% were college graduates.
Control or comparison condition:  Employment outcome was the comparison condition
Data collection and analysis:  Data was collected from a national survey of employment concerns among adults with MS. A multiple logistic regression analysis was performed to determine which factors predicted employment status.
Findings:  The following variables most predicted employment status: educational attainment, severity of symptoms, persistence of symptoms, and presence of cognitive impairment/dysfunction. More educational attainment resulted in better employment outcomes, participants with a high school education were more likely to be unemployed than those with a college degree. Participants that did not report cognitive symptoms were about 49% more likely to be employed than those who did. Participants that reported benign symptoms were 62% more likely to be employed than participants reporting chronic, progressive symptoms.
Conclusions:  These findings stress the need for on the job accommodations to help mitigate the effects of MS on job performance. These findings generally mirror the vocational rehabilitation model for other disabilities and the continued need for education and training services is stressed by these findings.

Disabilities served:  Multiple sclerosis
Outcomes:  Employment acquisition