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Changes in multiple sclerosis symptoms are associated with changes in work productivity of people living with multiple sclerosis


Bessing, B and Hussain, MA and Claflin, SB and Chen, J and Blizzard, L and Van Dijk, P and Kirk-Brown, A and Taylor, BVM and van der Mei, I, Changes in multiple sclerosis symptoms are associated with changes in work productivity of people living with multiple sclerosis, Multiple Sclerosis Journal Article ePub ahead of print. ISSN 1352-4585 (2021) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

© The Author(s), 2021.

DOI: doi:10.1177/1352458521994557


Background: While employment rates have increased in people with multiple sclerosis (PwMS), little is known about the longitudinal trends of work productivity.

Objective: To describe the longitudinal patterns of work productivity and examine the factors associated with annual change of work productivity of PwMS.

Methods: Study participants were employed participants of the Australian MS Longitudinal Study (AMSLS) followed from 2015 to 2019 with at least two repeated measures (n= 2121). We used linear mixed models to examine if the within-individual variations in MS symptoms are associated with changes in work productivity.

Results: The mean annual change in work productivity between 2015 and 2019 was −0.23% (SD = 18.68%). Not the actual severity of symptoms but rather the changes in severity of symptoms that are associated with change in work productivity in the same year. In a multivariable model, every unit increase in mean annual change in ‘pain and sensory symptoms’, ‘feelings of anxiety and depression’, and ‘fatigue and cognitive symptoms’ were independently associated with 2.43%, 1.55% and 1.01% annual reductions in work productivity, respectively.

Conclusion: Individual changes in work productivity are largely driven by the changes in symptom severity rather than the absolute severity. Stabilising/improving MS symptoms might improve work productivity.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:multiple sclerosis, pain, absenteeism, presenteeism, work productivity, longitudinal, intraindividual variations
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Neurosciences
Research Field:Neurology and neuromuscular diseases
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Other health
Objective Field:Other health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Bessing, B (Mr Barnabas Bessing)
UTAS Author:Hussain, MA (Dr Akhtar Hussain)
UTAS Author:Claflin, SB (Dr Suzi Claflin)
UTAS Author:Chen, J (Miss Jing Chen)
UTAS Author:Blizzard, L (Professor Leigh Blizzard)
UTAS Author:Taylor, BVM (Professor Bruce Taylor)
UTAS Author:van der Mei, I (Professor Ingrid van der Mei)
ID Code:144802
Year Published:2021
Web of Science® Times Cited:8
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2021-06-11
Last Modified:2022-08-23

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