Epub: Krause et al. Employment status in multiple sclerosis: impact of disease-specific and non-disease-specific factors. Mult Scler. 2013 May 1.
BACKGROUND: MS is associated with high rates of early retirement (ER).
OBJECTIVES: A German cohort of MSers and healthy control subjects (HCs) were compared cross-sectionally to investigate disease- and non-disease-specific factors that are associated with employment status (ES) in MS and to identify predictors of ES in MS.
METHODS: A total of 39 ER MSers, 48 employed MSers, and 37 HCs completed a brief neuropsychological battery and questionnaires related to depressive symptoms, fatigue, health-related quality of life (HrQoL) and health locus of control (HLC). Neurological disability was assessed by the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) and the Multiple Sclerosis Functional Composite (MSFC).
RESULTS: ER compared with employed MSers scored significantly higher in neurological disability, depressive symptoms and fatigue and significantly lower in cognitive functioning and HrQoL. Further, both groups differed with regard to age, education, disease course and duration but not in HLC. Neurological disability, age and fatigue were identified as significant predictors of ES in MS.
CONCLUSIONS: ES in MS was associated with demographic aspects, neurological and cognitive status, depressive symptoms, fatigue and HrQoL but was not associated with HLC. Findings confirm neurological disability, age and fatigue as independent predictors of ES in MS.