Factors that influence the employment status of people with multiple sclerosis: A multi-national study

M. Messmer Uccelli, C. Specchia, M. A. Battaglia, D. M. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Paid employment is valuable for society and for the individual. A diagnosis of a chronic illness such as multiple sclerosis (MS) can influence a person's employment status. Previous studies have reported that demographic and disease-related aspects can predict whether a person with MS will leave their job. The aim of the study was to assess the factors that people with MS believe to contribute to their employment status and to determine whether any of these differentiate people with MS who are employed from those who are not employed. A multi-national questionnaire assessed aspects related to employment that facilitate or hinder job maintenance. Data was collected in 18 European countries. A total of 1,141 questionnaires were completed. Of those responding, 694 (61%) subjects were employed and 477 (39%) were unemployed. The items that significantly differentiated the groups were related to MS symptoms, workplace environment and financial considerations. While MS influences employment status for many people who face difficult symptoms, aspects like a flexible work schedule and financial security are important and perhaps key to promoting job maintenance among people with MS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1989-1996
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Neurology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2009


  • Employment
  • Fatigue
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Work

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology


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