The aim was to investigate predictive values of coping styles, clinical and demographic factors on time to unemployment in patients diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) during 1998-2002 in Norway.
All patients (N = 108) diagnosed with MS 1998-2002 in Hordaland and Rogaland counties, Western Norway, were invited to participate in the long-term follow-up study in 2002. Baseline recordings included disability scoring (Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS)), fatigue (Fatigue Severity Scale (FSS)), depression (Beck Depression Inventory (BDI)), and questionnaire assessing coping (the Dispositional Coping Styles Scale (COPE)). Logistic regression analysis was used to identify factors associated with unemployed at baseline, and Cox regression analysis to identify factors at baseline associated with time to unemployment during follow-up.
In all, 41 (44%) were employed at baseline. After 13 years follow-up in 2015, mean disease duration of 22 years, 16 (17%) were still employed. Median time from baseline to unemployment was 6 years (±5). Older age at diagnosis, female gender, and depression were associated with patients being unemployed at baseline. Female gender, long disease duration, and denial as avoidant coping strategy at baseline predicted shorter time to unemployment.
Avoidant coping style, female gender, and longer disease duration were associated with shorter time to unemployment. These factors should be considered when advising patients on MS and future employment.
Grytten N, Skår AB, Aarseth JH, Assmus J, Farbu E, Lode K, Nyland HI, Smedal T, Myhr KM. The influence of coping styles on long-term employment in multiple sclerosis: A prospective study. Mult Scler. 2016 Sep 6. pii: 1352458516667240. [Epub ahead of print]