State vocational rehabilitation services and employment in multiple sclerosis

Chung Yi Chiu, Fong Chan, Malachy Bishop, Elizabeth Da Silva Cardoso, John O'Neill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Obtaining and maintaining suitable employment can be a significant challenge for people with multiple sclerosis (MS). Objective: The objective of this article is to identify what vocational rehabilitation (VR) services helped MS clients obtain and maintain employment, after controlling for the effect of demographic covariates and disability-related government benefits. Methods: We retrieved data from the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) 911 database in the fiscal year (FY) 2009, and used VR services as predictors to predict employment outcomes of people with MS by hierarchical logistic regression. Results: A total of 924 out of 1920 MS clients (48.1%) were successfully employed after receiving VR services. Logistic regression analysis results indicated that cash benefits (OR =0.51, p < 0.001) and public medical benefits (OR =0.76, p < 0.01) were negatively associated with employment outcomes, whereas counseling and guidance (OR = 1.68, p < 0.001), job placement assistance (OR = 2.43, p < 0.001), on-the-job supports (OR = 1.62, p < 0.01), maintenance services (OR = 1.59, p < 0.01), and assistive technology services (OR =2.09, p < 0.001) were significant predictors of positive employment outcomes. Conclusion: VR services were found to be associated with employment status. MS patients experiencing problems obtaining or maintaining employment should be encouraged to pursue services from state VR agencies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1655-1664
Number of pages10
JournalMultiple Sclerosis Journal
Issue number12
StatePublished - Oct 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Multiple sclerosis
  • employment
  • logistic regression
  • service delivery
  • vocational rehabilitation
  • vocational services

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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