Article Details

Research Database: Article Details

Citation:  Roessler, R. T., Fitzgerald, S. M., Rumrill, P. D., & Koch, L. C. (2001). Determinants of employment status among people with MS. Rehabilitation Counseling Bulletin, 45 (1), 31-39.
Title:  Determinants of employment status among people with MS
Authors:  Roessler, R. T., Fitzgerald, S. M., Rumrill, P. D., & Koch, L. C.
Year:  2001
Journal/Publication:  Rehabilitation Counseling Bulletin
Publisher:  Sage Journals
DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1177/003435520104500104
Full text:  http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/003435520104500104   
Peer-reviewed?  Yes
NIDILRR-funded?  No
Research design:  Survey research

Structured abstract:

Background:  Multiple sclerosis (MS) affects the functioning of the central nervous system and can result in problems with mobility, balance, coordination, blurred vision, manual dexterity, and bowel and bladder control. Other symptoms include fatigue, weakness, and depression resulting from a feeling over loss of control over futures. All of these physical and emotional symptoms can affect social roles and employment is the most common one that is affected.
Purpose:  The purpose of this study was to identify factors that lead to employment or lack thereof in adults with MS.
Study sample:  The sample consisted of 139 individuals with MS from the Midwestern United States who were available to enter the workforce. The group was 68% women and 32% men and well educated-68% had attended college and 32% received a four year degree. Most of the sample indicated some sort of fatigue or coordination issue and about 1/3rd of the sample was dealing with other symptoms.
Data collection and analysis:  A 60 item survey containing demographic and employment related variables was mailed to all participants. A backward, stepwise, multiple logistic regression analysis was used to determine factors that would predict employment status.
Findings:  Factors that predicted employment status were persistence and severity of symptoms, educational attainment, and presence of cognitive limitations. Participants without a college degree were more than six times more likely to be unemployed than those with a degree. Participants that reported cognitive limitations were about four times more likely to be unemployed than those that did not. Participants that reported symptoms as chronic and progressive were seven times more likely to be unemployed than those that reported symptoms as benign.
Conclusions:  Obtaining employment with MS is more likely with a college degree, less cognitive symptoms, and a less severe illness.

Disabilities served:  Multiple sclerosis
Outcomes:  Employment acquisition