Workers with disability: the case of multiple sclerosis.
Ponzio M, Brichetto G, Zaratin P, Battaglia MA.
The impact of the multiple sclerosis (MS) on the individual’s ability to work is important especially because the onset of the disease occurs mainly between 20 and 30 years of age. This study evaluated different factors associated with job maintenance using a questionnaire that defined what factors are considered obstacle or help in work management. A cross-sectional study of people with MS was carried out in Italy. A total of 1016 individuals with MS were enrolled in the study. Our results showed that negative item related to job maintenance as ‘attitudes of other in the workplace’ was associated with a lower likelihood of being employed (OR 0.65, 95 % CI 0.57-0.76), while ‘your attitudes toward work’ (OR 1.37, 95 % CI 1.19-1.59), ‘attitudes of other in the workplace’ (OR 1.41, 95 % CI 1.17-1.69) and ‘personal considerations’ (OR 1.54, 95 % CI 1.23-1.93), positive items related to job maintenance, were associated with a higher likelihood of being employed. In addition, a poor quality of life and severity disease as well same demographic characteristics (i.e. to be resident in South Italy or in the Islands, living in own original family, have lower educational level) inhibited significantly the job maintenance together with a heavy job and a fixed-term contract. In conclusion, a complex set of variables contribute to the barriers faced by PwMS who are employed suggesting that different stakeholders may play an important role in difficult management of the work for people with MS.
- Own attitudes toward work – feeling anxious, stressed, feeling overwhelmed, lack of motivation
- Environmental temperature
- Symptoms – fatigue and weakness
And, the variables related to positive job maintenance:
- Own attitudes toward work – optimistic, being motivated and interested in the work, being certain about your capabilities
- Social interaction
- Personal emotional resources
- Family’s support and help with household tasks
- Attitudes to others in the work place – understanding employer and co-workers
- Workplace environment – seated work, adequate environmental temperature, possibility to set your own pace or intermittent breaks/rest, flexible work schedule, stable workgroup, accessible transportation/parking and work area
- Stable disease