Article Details

Research Database: Article Details

Citation:  Stober, L.B., Christodoulou, C., Benedict, R.H.B., Westervelt, H.J., Melville, P., Scherl, W.F., Weinstock-Guttman, B., Rizvi, S., Goodman, A.D., and Krupp., L.B. (2012). Unemployment in multiple sclerosis: the contribution of personality and disease. Multiple Sclerosis Journal, 18 (5), 647-653.
Title:  Unemployment in multiple sclerosis: the contribution of personality and disease
Authors:  Stober, L.B., Christodoulou, C., Benedict, R.H.B., Westervelt, H.J., Melville, P., Scherl, W.F., Weinstock-Guttman, B., Rizvi, S., Goodman, A.D., and Krupp., L.B.
Year:  2012
Journal/Publication:  Multiple Sclerosis Journal
Publisher:  Sage Publications
DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1177/1352458511426735
Full text:  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22183935   
Peer-reviewed?  Yes
NIDILRR-funded?  No
Research design:  Cross-sectional

Structured abstract:

Background:  Multiple sclerosis can lead to high levels of unemployment for young and middle aged adults. Around 75% will leave work within five years of diagnosis. Risk factors and MS symptoms contribute to unemployment (14 to 20%) variance. Information about what other factors come in to play (i.e. personality style) is needed.
Purpose:  The aim of this study was to examine the role of personality, neurological impairment, cognitive problems, fatigue, mood and demographic factors impacted employment status of individuals with MS.
Setting:  The study took place in a university medical center.
Study sample:  One hundred and one individuals with MS who were enrolled in a clinical trial examining a drug's impact on cognition were in the study. This included 54 participants who were employed (7 males and 47 females) and 47 (14 males and 33 females) who were not. Among the employed, the average age was 45.06 years, education 13.30 years, disease duration 8.81 years. For the unemployed the average age was 47.85 years, education, 13.91 and disease duration 12.32 years.
Intervention:  There was no intervention.
Control or comparison condition:  Employed and unemployed groups of individuals with MS.
Data collection and analysis:  Vocational status was determined using the Occupational Functioning Questionnaire. Personality was assessed using the Tridimensional Personality Questionnaire. Level of neurological impairment level was assessed through the EDSS. A neurological test battery was also given to all subjects. Statistical analyses were conducted using SPSS version 18.0. Initial comparisons were made between the employed and unemployed group means. An effect size was computed and chi square analysis were conducted. Logistical regression analyses were used to determine which factors predicted employment status.
Findings:  The unemployed group was more neurologically impaired than the employed group, had longer disease duration, and higher proportion of progressive disease course. No differences were noted between age and education. The unemployed group indicated greater levels of fatigue than the employed and there was no difference between groups related to self reported depression. The unemployed group scored lower on cognitive tests, measures of information processing speed (SDMT) and verbal learning and memory. Related to personality a lower level of persistence was seen in the unemployed group as compared to those employed. The most significant predictors were neurological impairment level (EDSS), processing speed (SDMT), and persistence.
Conclusions:  Personality, cognition, and neurological impairment contribute to employment status. More research is needed.

Disabilities served:  Multiple sclerosis
Populations served:  Gender: Female and Male
Other
Outcomes:  Other