Neurol Neurochir Pol. 2022;56(5):435-440. doi: 10.5603/PJNNS.2022.0062.
INTRODUCTION: Multiple sclerosis (MS) usually occurs in young adults and, due to its long-lasting course and variety of symptoms, can affect their vocational activity. Our study aimed to evaluate employment status and working activity for persons with MS with regard to disease-related factors, quality of life, and depression.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: 250 subjects with MS (62 men, 188 women, aged 19-71 years, mean 42.2) responded to a survey into various aspects of their employment. Relationships were sought between work-related issues and disease-related variables [MS type and duration, major symptoms, disability level on the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS)], quality of life (WHOQOL- -BREF, World Health Organisation Quality of Life brief questionnaire) and depression (BDI, Beck Depression Inventory). Statistical analysis included Mann-Whitney U, Student’s t, and Pearson’s chi-squared tests.
RESULTS: 71.2% of the patients were employed, and 49.1% perceived an impact of the disease upon their working activity (i.e. job loss, problems with finding a new one, and/or forced change of type and/or character of employment). Unemployed subjects had higher EDSS scores (4.05 vs. 2.34, p < 0.001) and longer disease durations (13.6 vs. 9.4, p < 0.001) than employed ones. They also scored higher on BDI (15.4 vs. 9.05, p < 0.001) and lower in all domains of WHOQOL-BREF (p < 0.001).
CONCLUSIONS: The consequences of MS negatively influence many work-related factors. Unemployment is associated with a higher frequency of depression and a lower quality of life in MS patients.