How can an online programme work best to help people with MS stay in work?


People are often diagnosed with MS between the ages of 20 and 40. Usually most people are in full time work or education when diagnosed. After 10 years, fewer than 50% of people with MS remain in work. And those who are still employed often move from highly demanding jobs to roles with fewer demands and lower pay.

Dr De Dios Perez’s team have developed a programme to help people with MS remain in work. The programme offers support to help individuals manage MS symptoms at work and learn to explain workplace difficulties to employers. It also provides advice on modifications to the role or working environment which may improve the work ability of people with MS.

This intervention proved effective and helped people with MS achieve their employment goals and feel empowered. However, delivery of the programme through the NHS is hampered by lack of resources.

About the project

This project will explore how MS charities can offer specialist support with employment for people with MS. 

Firstly, interviews with people with MS, employees from MS charities and employers will give insight into how the job retention programme can be integrated within MS charities. 

Once this information has been gathered, professionals working at MS charities will be trained to deliver the job retention programme. A group of people with MS will receive the employment support and their experiences will be compared to a group who were not supported through the job retention programme. 

How will it help people with MS?

People with MS may benefit from this research by having better access to employment services to help them remain at work. Previous research has shown that being employed is associated with greater financial security and improved mental and physical health.