Purpose: This cross-sectional study aims to identify the predictors of work-related difficulties in a sample of employed persons with multiple sclerosis as addressed with the Multiple Sclerosis Questionnaire for Job Difficulties. Materials and methods: Hierarchical linear regression analysis was conducted to identify predictors of work difficulties: predictors included demographic variables (age, formal education), disease duration and severity, perceived disability and psychological variables (cognitive dysfunction, depression and anxiety). The targets were the questionnaire’s overall score and its six subscales. Results: A total of 177 participants (108 females, aged 21–63) were recruited. Age, perceived disability and depression were direct and significant predictors of the questionnaire total score, and the final model explained 43.7% of its variation. The models built on the questionnaire’s subscales show that perceived disability and depression were direct and significant predictors of most of its subscales. Conclusions: Our results show that, among patients with multiple sclerosis, those who were older, with higher perceived disability and higher depression symptoms have more and more severe work-related difficulties. The Multiple Sclerosis Questionnaire for Job Difficulties can be fruitfully exploited to plan tailored actions to limit the likelihood of near-future job loss in persons of working age with multiple sclerosis.Implications for rehabilitationDifficulties with work are common among people with multiple sclerosis and are usually addressed in terms of unemployment or job loss. The Multiple Sclerosis Questionnaire for Job Difficulties is a disease-specific questionnaire developed to address the amount and severity of work-related difficulties.We found that work-related difficulties were associated to older age, higher perceived disability and depressive symptoms.Mental health issues and perceived disability should be consistently included in future research targeting work-related difficulties.
- disability evaluation
- Multiple sclerosis
- Multiple Sclerosis Questionnaire for Job Difficulties
- vocational rehabilitation
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