Relationship of perceived stress and employment status in individuals with multiple sclerosis

Meghan Beier, Narineh Hartoonian, Vanessa L. D'Orio, Alexandra L. Terrill, Jagriti Jackie Bhattarai, Noah D. Paisner, Kevin N. Alschuler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Many individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS) are unemployed relatively soon after diagnosis. There is a paucity of research on the relationship between psychological distress and employment status in persons with MS. OBJECTIVE: To explore the relative distress of employed versus unemployed individuals with MS. METHODS: Secondary cross-sectional analysis of a mailed survey. Variables were categorized by demographics (age, gender, education, marital status), disease (EDSS, MS symptom duration, fatigue, MS-type), and psychosocial factors (depression, anxiety, perceived stress, self-reported general cognitive concerns, self-reported executive dysfunction). Univariate logistic regression analysis was used to identify variables significantly associated with employment status. All significant variables were then included in a multivariate model to identify the most salient correlates. RESULTS: Univariate analyses identified 10 variables that were significantly associated with employment status: age, education, EDSS, MS symptom duration, MS-type, depression symptoms, perceived stress, fatigue, and self-reported cognitive symptoms. The multivariate model yielded four demographic and disease-related variables and one emotional distress variable (older age, moderate disability [EDSS], longer symptom duration, MS-type, higher perceived stress) as significant. CONCLUSIONS: After adjusting for disease variables, demographics, and significant psychosocial factors, perceived stress remained associated with employment status, such that greater perceived stress was associated with being unemployed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)243-249
Number of pages7
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2019


  • MS symptoms
  • Occupational status
  • emotional distress
  • productivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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