Employment for people with Multiple Sclerosis
Adequate employment has many benefits for mental health and wellbeing. On average 44%, but up to 75%, of people with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) are unemployed or retired early. Very little research has investigated the consequences of job loss on mental health. Using prospective data from an international sample of 1276 people with MS, we assessed the changes in employment, and predictors thereof, and associated change in mental health quality of life in people with multiple sclerosis (MS). We found that employment status was negatively impacted by MS for most participants. We showed for the first time that employment loss was prospectively associated with poorer mental health related quality of life.
The literature shows that employment services and flexible work arrangements can assist people with MS to prevent loss of employment. Based on our results, these services should be widely available, especially for those with progressive onset MS, higher disability and lower levels of education who are at higher risk of employment loss.
Dr Claudia Marck, University of Melbourne
Ms Zoe Aitken, University of Melbourne
Professor Anne Kavanagh, University of Melbourne
Dr Steve Simpson, University of Melbourne
Associate Professor Tracey Weiland, University of Melbourne
Professor George Jelinek, University of Melbourne
National Health and Medical Research Council Early Career Fellowship
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