Article Details

Research Database: Article Details

Citation:  Jellie,B.,Sweetland,J., Riazi,A., Cano,S.J. & Playford, E.D. (2014). Staying at work and living with MS: a qualitative study of the impact of a vocational rehabilitation intervention. Disability and Rehabilitation, 36 (19), 1594-1599.
Title:  Staying at work and living with MS: a qualitative study of the impact of a vocational rehabilitation intervention
Authors:  Jellie,B.,Sweetland,J., Riazi,A., Cano,S.J. & Playford, E.D.
Year:  2014
Journal/Publication:  Disability and Rehabilitation
Publisher:  Informa Healthcare
Full text:   
Peer-reviewed?  Yes
NIDILRR-funded?  No
Research design:  Qualitative research

Structured abstract:

Background:  Multiple sclerosis impacts young adults at a time when they are either in school or employed. As the condition progresses, individuals leave work. About half of the individuals who are diagnosed with MS leave work within 3 years before the onset of significant cognitive or physical disability. A main issue for those diagnosed is how to remain employed.
Purpose:  The purpose of this paper was to present the findings from in-depth qualitative interviews with individuals with MS who had received a occupational therapy led vocational rehabilitation intervention.
Setting:  The interviews took place in the participants homes or in a hospital.
Study sample:  Nineteen individuals with MS participated. The majority (76%) were female. The average age was 40 years and most (79%) had an educaional degree. Most (74%) had relapsing remitting MS. About three quarters or (74%) were able to walk independently.
Intervention:  There was no intervention.
Control or comparison condition:  There was no control or comparison condition.
Data collection and analysis:  A research assistant interviewed participants 2 to 8 weeks after the completion of the VR intervention. Semi-structured interviews explored the following topics: person's work situation prior to the intervention, the intervention experience and current work status. Interviews took around an hour. Taped interviews were transcribed. Line to line coding was completed using MaxQDA software. A primary investigator also coded the transcripts. A constant comparison analyses was used to generate themes. Then two other research team members read and coded a sample of the transcripts. A final list of key themes was developed.
Findings:  The following five key themes about the VR intervention were found: understanding symptoms and management in the workplace;removing anxiety, understanding and influencing the employer, managing loss of confidence, and having professional support. The VR service intervention was valued by participants and they reported feeling enabled to manage work and workplace relationships more effectively.
Conclusions:  Remaining employed after a diagnosis of MS may be beneficial. An occupational therapist led VR intervention, can remove some of the physical and emotional challenges faced by employees with MS. These equip the person to work with their employers and maintain or increase self confidence.

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