Article Details

Research Database: Article Details

Citation:  Rumrill, P. D. (2009). Challenges and opportunities related to employment of people with multiple sclerosis. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 31 (2), 83-90.
Title:  Challenges and opportunities related to 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:  Literature review

Structured abstract:

Background:  There is a multitude of medical and psychological symptoms that go along with multiple sclerosis (MS). The disease is unpredictable and impacts virtually all areas of life. Employment is among the most impacted areas and unfortunately MS results in major challenges to employment. This all too often unemployed group presents the need to have their experiences chronicled as they try to resume their careers and re-enter the workforce.
Purpose:  The purpose of this article was to describe labor force participation patterns and employment related concerns of individuals with MS in the United States.
Findings:  Women with MS are significantly less likely to be employed than men. Middle aged people with MS are more likely to be employed than their younger or older counterparts. More profound and more progressed symptoms of the disease lead to higher likelihood to be unemployed. Supportive employers and co-workers and access to assistive technology can improve employment and retention for those with MS that stay in their jobs. Perceived discrimination is among the biggest obstacles to maintaining employment for people with MS.
Conclusions:  Individuals with MS are a well-educated group with significant work histories yet face a multitude of challenges to employment that are well documented in literature. Knowing the challenges this group faces can help vocational rehabilitation professionals design interventions to serve them.

Disabilities served:  Multiple sclerosis