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Tuesday

 

Understanding Drivers of Employment Changes in a Multiple Sclerosis Population: STUDY






























Background:
There is a lack of qualitative data on decision-making and factors surrounding changes in employment for multiple sclerosis (MS) patients. This study aimed to increase understanding of the key symptoms and factors leading MS patients to leave work or reduce employment.

Patients and Methods:
Adult MS patients who reported leaving the workforce, reducing working hours, or changing jobs due to MS within the past 6 months were recruited from four clinical sites in the United States. Patients participated in semistructured interviews to discuss MS symptoms and reasons for changing employment status. All interviews were transcribed and coded for descriptive analyses.

Results:
Twenty-seven adults (mean age 46.3 years, mean duration of MS diagnosis 10.9 years) with a range of occupations participated in the study. Most were white (81.5%) and female (70.4%). Physical symptoms (eg, fatigue, visual deficits) were the most common reasons (77.8%) cited for employment change, while 40.7% of patients reported at least one cognitive symptom (eg, memory loss). Fatigue emerged as the most pervasive symptom and affected both physical and mental aspects of patients’ jobs. Most patients (85.2%) reported  symptoms as drivers for change. Some patients reported a significant negative impact of loss of employment on their mental status, family life, and financial stability.

Conclusions:
Fatigue was the most common symptom associated with an MS patient’s decision to leave work or reduce employment and can lead to a worsening of other MS symptoms. Comprehensive symptom management, especially fatigue management, may potentially help patients preserve their employment status.

Story Source: The above story is based on materials provided by INTERNATIONALJOURNALOFMSCARE
Note: Materials may be edited for content and length

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