Objective: To identify demographic, educational, and disease-related characteristics associated with the odds of employment and earnings among participants with multiple sclerosis (MS). Design: Cross-sectional using self-report assessment obtained by mail or online. Setting: Medical university in the southeastern United States. Participants: Participants with MS (N=1059) were enrolled from a specialty hospital in the southeastern United States. All were adults younger than 65 years at the time of assessment. Interventions: Not applicable. Main Outcome Measures: Current employment status and earnings. Results: MS factors were highly related to employment, yet not as strongly to conditional earnings. Those with no symptoms reported 6.25 greater odds of employment than those with severe current symptoms. Compared with those with progressive MS, those with relapsing or remitting had greater odds of employment (odds ratio [OR]=2.24). Participants with no perceived cognitive impairment had 1.83 greater odds of employment than those with moderate to severe perceived cognitive impairment. Those with <10 years since MS diagnosis had 2.74 greater odds of employment compared with those with >20 years since diagnosis. An absence of problematic fatigue was highly related to the probability of employment (OR=5.01) and higher conditional earnings ($14,454), whereas the remaining MS variables were unrelated to conditional earnings. For non-MS variables, education was highly related to employment status and conditional earnings, because those with a postgraduate degree had 2.87 greater odds of employment and $44,346 greater conditional earnings than those with no more than a high school certificate. Non-Hispanic whites had 2.22 greater odds of employment and $16,118 greater conditional earnings than non-Hispanic blacks, and men reported $30,730 more in conditional earnings than women. Conclusions: MS indicators were significantly associated with employment status including time since diagnosis, fatigue, symptom severity, and presence of cognitive impairment. However, among those who were employed, conditional earnings were less highly related to these factors and more highly related to educational attainment.
|Journal||Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation|
|State||Published - May 2019|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Supported by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR; grant no. 90RT5035). NIDILRR is a Center within the Administration for Community Living (ACL), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The contents of this publication do not necessarily represent the policy of NIDILRR, ACL, HHS, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government. We thank Deborah Backus, PT, PhD, FACRM, and the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, GA, for their aid in participant recruitment.
Supported by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR; grant no. 90RT5035). NIDILRR is a Center within the Administration for Community Living (ACL), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The contents of this publication do not necessarily represent the policy of NIDILRR, ACL, HHS, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.
© 2018 American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine
- Multiple sclerosis
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation