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Unemployment Linked with Stigma in MS

Int J MS Care; ePub 2018 Nov 1; Hategeka, et al

Persons with multiple sclerosis (PwMS) who feel stigmatized as a result of their MS are more likely to be unemployed and to require greater informal care, a recent study found. Data were compiled from a national representative cross-sectional survey on living with neurological conditions, from 2011-2012. Employment status categorized into 2 levels: “currently working” and “not working.” The frequency of informal care that PwMS received was categorized into 3 levels: none, less than daily, and daily assistance. Researchers found:

  • Of the 4,409 SLNCC respondents, 631 reported a diagnosis of MS, of whom 530 were included in the analysis.
  • 358 respondents were aged 18–65 years, of whom 47.8% were not working because of MS.
  • 44.0% reported receiving informal care with more than half requiring daily care. For caregivers' employment, 15.5% reduced work while 8.2% stopped working altogether because of caregiving.
  • Greater feelings of stigmatization were associated with not working and greater informal care, adjusting for sex, age, education, health-related quality of life (HRQoL), years living with MS, and comorbidity.


Hategeka C, Traboulsee AL, Lynd LD. Unemployment and informal care are associated with stigma in multiple sclerosis. [Published online ahead of print November 1, 2018]. Int J MS Care. doi:10.7224/1537-2073.2017-108.