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CMSC News: Employment in Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Study

Wednesday, October 1, 2014   (0 Comments)
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Employment in Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Study

Multiple sclerosis (MS), the leading cause of neurological disability among young and middle-aged adults, is a variable and unpredictable disease known to significantly impact individuals’ overall sense of well-being and quality of life. Unemployment is a particularly pressing issue in MS, with rates as high as 80%. Given the age at which MS is most common (20 to 50 years of age) and the knowledge that employment is a vital component for overall well-being and quality of life during these years, efforts to assist individuals with MS in maintaining employment or to assist practitioners in making informed decisions regarding employment is a priority. The present study aims to take into account known factors associated with unemployment in MS (e.g., demographics, disease variables), as well as person-specific factors (e.g., personality, coping), which have not been extensively investigated but have been purported to significantly contribute to the high rates of unemployment in MS. More specifically, the aims of the study are to: (1) prospectively identify and verify previously identified factors related to unemployment in MS using a multivariate framework; (2) examine the role of personality, coping, and health-related behaviors as well as demographics and disease variables on one’s decision to leave the workforce; and (3) develop a conceptual model that can be ultimately used as a predictive model of unemployment in MS and decision tool for practitioners.

These research aims will be addressed by identifying individuals with MS who are beginning to make decisions with their practitioners regarding employment. Individuals who remain in the workforce and those that ultimately decide to leave will undergo a comprehensive assessment measuring disease variables, secondary factors of MS (e.g., fatigue, cognition), personality, coping style, health-related behaviors, psychosocial factors, and work factors. Ultimately, it is anticipated that the findings of this investigation will substantially assist practitioners in making informed decisions regarding employment with their patients and hence, improve the overall care and quality of life of individuals with MS.

How You Can Help?
We are presently recruiting individuals who are considering leaving work or feeling as if they need to cut back their hours at the workplace. If a patient expresses to you any such feelings and meet the following criteria, please provide them with our contact information and someone will contact as soon as possible.

  • Diagnosed with definite MS
  • Between the ages of 20 and 64
  • No other neurological illness

If the patient lives in the New York/New Jersey metro area, we will be able to do an in-person assessment consisting of a brief neuropsychological battery that we can then provide them with a brief report on their performance. They will also complete a series of questionnaires that they can complete entirely online at their home. If they are not local to us, they can still participate in the study by completing the online survey and one cognitive measure over the phone.

Participants will be reimbursed the following:

$50 for an in-person visit
$20 for completion of the online survey

If you have any questions, you can contact Lauren B. Strober, Ph.D., Principal Investigator at 973-324-8459 or lstrober@kesslerfoundation.org.

If referring a patient to the study, please have them contact the study Research Assistant, Anthony Costanzo, M.S. at 973-324-8444 or acostanzo@kesslerfoundation.org.

See the attached flyer here.


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