Article Details

Research Database: Article Details

Citation:  Smith, M.M., Arnett, P.A. (2005). Factors related to employment status changes in individuals with multiple sclerosis. Multiple Sclerosis, 11 (5), 602-609.
Title:  Factors related to employment status changes in individuals with multiple sclerosis
Authors:  Smith, M.M., Arnett, P.A.
Year:  2005
Journal/Publication:  Multiple Sclerosis
Publisher:  Sage Publications Inc.
Full text:   
Peer-reviewed?  Yes
NIDILRR-funded?  No
Research design:  Survey research

Structured abstract:

Background:  Multiple sclerosis (MS) brings high unemployment rates to the individuals living with it. Not being able to work brings a number of financial and quality of life difficulties. The unpredictable nature of MS symptoms can mean that the exact reasons for changes in employment status merits research.
Purpose:  The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of various demographic and MS related factors on employment status among a group of individuals living with MS.
Study sample:  Participants were recruited from neurologists and MS support groups in the northwestern United States. The sample consisted of 50 participants who were mostly female and Caucasian. Participants were grouped into one of three different categories: 1) still able to work full time (W); 2) had to cut back on work hours due to MS symptoms (CB); 3) had to leave jobs entirely due to MS symptoms (NW).
Data collection and analysis:  Data was collected through demographic, disease, and cognitive questionnaires. MANOVA tests were used to examine the target variables.
Findings:  The NW group had significantly higher levels of physical disability than the other two groups. The CB group had significantly more education and experience than the NW group. Ninety percent of the CB group reported fatigue as the primary cause of their work status change. Eighty six percent of the NW group reported physical/neurological symptoms as being responsible for their work cause change.
Conclusions:  These findings support the importance of disease management in employment for individuals with MS.

Disabilities served:  Multiple sclerosis
Outcomes:  Employment acquisition