Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsJohnson KL, Fraser RT
EditorFinlayson M
Book TitleMultiple Sclerosis Rehabilitation: From Impairment to Participation
PublisherCRC Press
CityBoca Raton, FL
ISBN Number978-1-4398-2884-7

Employment is an important component of community participation for people in general, and people with multiple sclerosis (MS) are no exception. People with MS value employment for a number of reasons. Probably first and foremost is that it provides an income. Many individuals also rely on employment-related health care benefits. They see continuation of employer health benefits as critical since they have high health care costs, and immunomodulatory medications can be very expensive. But employment is important for other reasons as well. It provides an opportunity to demonstrate and experience competence, is a valuable social outlet, and has been associated with a higher overall perceived quality of life. It is important for people with MS to note that it is easier to ignore symptoms, such as pain, when they are working. Not only is employment important for the person with MS, but it has been found that caregiver distress also rises significantly with unemployment. After reading this chapter, you will be able to: 1. Identify barriers to full participation in education and employment for people with MS, 2. Describe the vocational rehabilitation process, 3. Implement vocational rehabilitation interventions, and 4. Understand the process of accommodations to increase participation.

UW Medicine Multiple Sclerosis Center

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