Employment and Job Benefits Among Those With Spinal Cord Dysfunction: A Comparison of People With Spinal Cord Injury and Multiple Sclerosis

James S. Krause, Clara E. Dismuke-Greer, Karla S. Reed, Phillip Rumrill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Objective: (1) Identify the proportion of participants with spinal cord dysfunction (SCD) reporting each of 10 job benefits and compare the proportions between participants with spinal cord injury (SCI) and multiple sclerosis (MS); and (2) examine if diagnostic criteria, demographics, education level, and functional limitations are associated with the number of job benefits received. Design: Econometric modeling of cross-sectional data using a 2-step data analytic model of employment and job benefits. Setting: Medical university in the southeastern United States. Participants: Participants (N=2624) were identified from the southeastern United States. After eliminating those age 65 and older, there were 2624 adult participants with SCD; 1234 had MS and 1390 had SCI. Interventions: Not applicable. Main Outcome Measures: Current employment status; number of benefits received and specific benefits received. Results: A greater proportion of participants with MS received benefits, with significant differences observed on all but 1 type of benefit. Among those who were employed, a greater number of benefits was associated with having MS, greater education, younger age, married or in an unmarried couple, and not having functional restrictions with cognition, doing errands, or shopping alone in the community, and walking. Conclusions: Employed participants with MS were more likely to receive job benefits, indicative of a higher quality of employment, compared to participants with SCI. Employment without benefits is a form of underemployment that disproportionately affects individuals with many of the same characteristics that initially lead to disparities in probability of gainful employment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1932-1938
Number of pages7
JournalArchives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine


  • Employment
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Rehabilitation
  • Spinal cord injuries

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation


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