Article Details

Research Database: Article Details

Citation:  Iwanaga, K., Wu, J., Chen, X., Lee, B., Reyes, A., Phillips, B., Pfaller, J., and Chan, F. (0). Person-Environment Contextual Factors as Mediators for the Relationship between Symptom Cluster and Employment Outcome in Multiple Sclerosis. Journal of Rehabilitation, 48 (2), 28.
Title:  Person-Environment Contextual Factors as Mediators for the Relationship between Symptom Cluster and Employment Outcome in Multiple Sclerosis
Authors:  Iwanaga, K., Wu, J., Chen, X., Lee, B., Reyes, A., Phillips, B., Pfaller, J., and Chan, F.
Year:  0
Journal/Publication:  Journal of Rehabilitation
Publisher:  IOS Press
Full text:  MS Word   
Peer-reviewed?  Yes
NIDILRR-funded?  Yes
Research design:  Survey research

Structured abstract:

Background:  The symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) often make it very difficult for those who have it to work. Certain environmental factors, such as social support and self-evaluation can lessen that difficulty for people.
Purpose:  The goal of the study was to see how much, if at all, social support and core self-evaluations affected the working experience of people with MS.
Setting:  Subjects were recruited via the National Multiple Sclerosis Society from chapters in Washington D.C./Maryland and Wisconsin. To have a chance of being selected, participants had to be between the ages of 25 and 54, diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, and living in one of the communities overseen by the chapters that were contacted for the study/
Study sample:  The sample consisted of 154 individuals from the potential group of participants. The average age of the participants was 41.03 years. 87% of the group were women, 53% were married, and 83% were white.
Data collection and analysis:  The survey given to each participant had questions regarding self-evaluation, Social support and evaluation of the MS symptoms. The self-evaluation section was rated 1-5 by participants, with statements such as "I am confident I get the success I deserve in life". The symptoms section contained questions such as "How would you rate your pain right now?". The social support section asked questions relating to the relationships of the participant in order to gauge the level of social support they likely have.
Findings:  It was found that all examined factors heavily influenced how likely a person with MS was to be employed. Having a more positive evaluation of one's self was measured to have a greater effect on the odds of employment than social support did.
Conclusions:  Using self-evaluations and social support is a valid method to help manage the negative effect of MS on employment outcomes. Therefore, counselors and psychologists working with MS patients should be encouraged to apply positive psychology to those cases.

Disabilities served:  Multiple sclerosis