Multiple Sclerosis is the most common chronic inflammatory disease of the central nervous system. In Germany, it is estimated that more than 200 000 patients are affected. The symptoms and disorders are varied, as all areas of the central nervous system (CNS) can be affected. Limitations in mobility and cognition as well as fatigue can influence the participation of those affected in work life at an early stage, and approximately 37% of patients are retired at an average age of 43 years. Participation in working life is essential for those affected and can have a positive effect on the course of disease and the quality of life. In addition, the labour absenteeism costs caused by the illness are higher than the illness costs.
Within the project "Determinants of participation in work life with multiple sclerosis" (TAMuS), which is being carried out in cooperation with the AN-Institute for Neurorehabilitation Magdeburg, it will be analyzed, which objective factors influence the maintenance of employment in MS patients over an observation period of two years and additionally, which subjective and workplace-specific factors effect on staying in employment over an observation period of one year. In addition to the use of register data (secondary data) and the written survey of people affected by MS (primary data), another special feature is the involvement of people affected by MS in a project advisory board with discussions of sub-steps and results of the project.
The knowledge gained serves to improve the chances of people with MS to participate in work life. Both objective and subjective factors influencing participation in work life are to be identified. These can be the basis for the design of medically and vocationally oriented rehabilitation services and thus improve the participation opportunities for those affected.