Work productivity trajectories of Australians living with multiple sclerosis: a group-based modelling approach

Barnabas Bessing, Mohammad A. Hussain, Suzi B. Claflin, Jing Chen, Leigh Blizzard, Pieter van Dijk, Andrea Kirk-Brown, Bruce V. Taylor, Ingrid van der Mei

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Background: Studies have documented reduced work capacity and work productivity loss in multiple sclerosis (MS). Little is known about the longitudinal trajectories of work productivity in MS. Objectives: To examine trajectories of work productivity in people living with multiple sclerosis (PwMS) and the factors associated with the trajectories. Methods: Study participants were employed participants of the Australian MS Longitudinal Study (AMSLS) followed from 2015 to 2019 with at least two repeated measures (n=2121). We used group-based trajectory modelling to identify unique work productivity trajectories in PwMS. Results: We identified three distinct trajectories of work productivity: ‘moderately reduced’ (17.0% of participants) with a mean work productivity level of 47.6% in 2015 (slope -0.97% per year (p= 0.22)), ‘mildly reduced’ (46.7%) with a mean work productivity of 86.3% in 2015 (slope 0.70% per year (p=0.12)), and ‘full’ (36.3%) with a mean work productivity of 99.7% in 2015 (slope 0.29% per year (p= 0.30)). Higher education level, higher disability, and higher MS symptom severity are associated with increased probability of being in a worse work productivity trajectory. Conclusion: We identified three distinct work productivity trajectories in PwMS which were stable over time and differentiated by their baseline level of work productivity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103131
Number of pages8
JournalMultiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2021


  • Absenteeism
  • Fatigue
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Presenteeism
  • Symptoms
  • Trajectories
  • Work productivity

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