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Multiple Sclerosis impact on employment and income in New Zealand


Pearson, JF and Alla, S and Clarke, G and Mason, DF and Anderson, T and Richardson, A and Miller, DH and Sabel, CE and Abernethy, DA and Willoughby, EW and Taylor, BV, Multiple Sclerosis impact on employment and income in New Zealand, Acta Neurologica Scandinavica, 136, (3) pp. 223-232. ISSN 0001-6314 (2017) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

2016 John Wiley & Sons

DOI: doi:10.1111/ane.12714


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: We investigated the demographic, social and clinical characteristics associated with employment status and income for people with multiple sclerosis (MS) in New Zealand (NZ).

METHODS: The NZ National MS Prevalence study included all persons resident in NZ on census day 2006 diagnosed with MS (96.7% coverage). Factors associated with employment and income status among the working age population (25-64 years) were identified by linear regression.

RESULTS: Over 90% of working age people with MS (n=1727) had a work history, but 54% were not working. Work loss occurred early in the disease course, and at low disability (P<.001). Advancing age, progressive disease, longer disease duration, higher disability levels, partner loss and lower education were associated with work loss (P<.001). Working age people with MS had lower income than the NZ population (P<.0001). Higher qualifications yielded no additional income for MS females and about half the additional income for MS males (P<.0001).

CONCLUSIONS: MS profoundly reduces employment and income early in the disease course, and at low levels of disability, however, unemployment is not entirely accounted for by clinical, social and demographic factors. These findings suggest social supports should be explored early in the disease course to reduce loss of income and unemployment for people with MS.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:New Zealand, education, employment, income, multiple sclerosis, prevalence
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Neurosciences
Research Field:Central nervous system
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical health
Objective Field:Clinical health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Taylor, BV (Professor Bruce Taylor)
ID Code:112808
Year Published:2017 (online first 2016)
Web of Science® Times Cited:20
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2016-11-30
Last Modified:2022-06-16

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