Employed individuals with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) have lower work productivity, reduced health-related quality of life, and use more healthcare resources than individuals who do not have multiple sclerosis (MS), a new study shows.
The study, “Burden of relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis on workers in the US: a cross-sectional analysis of survey data,” was published in the journal BMC Neurology.
MS is frequently diagnosed among individuals of working age (20–60 years); as a result, the disease can present a higher burden on work productivity. However, there is limited data available about absenteeism and presenteeism among employed individuals with MS in comparison to people without MS.
(Absenteeism is the practice of regularly staying away from work, while presenteeism is defined as employees coming to work despite having an illness and, as a consequence, performing their work under suboptimal conditions.)
American researchers now have conducted a study to quantify the burden of illness among employed U.S. adults with RRMS, the most prevalent form of MS. Researchers performed a retrospective cross-sectional analysis using patient-reported responses from the U.S. National Health and Wellness Survey (NHWS) 2015–2016.
Data from 196 employed RRMS respondents were analyzed. These patients were matched in a 1:4 ratio to employed individuals without MS, based on demographic and general health characteristics.
Work productivity (including absenteeism, presenteeism, and work impairment), health-related quality of life (HRQoL), and healthcare resource utilization were compared between RRMS and healthy controls.
Researchers found that only 36.1% of the surveyed respondents with RRMS were employed at the time of the study (average age 45.2 years). When comparing outcomes between the two groups, results revealed significantly lower health status among respondents with RRMS relative to healthy controls.
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