Project title: Protection of the disabled worker: the insertion and reintegration of workers suffering from multiple sclerosis

Duration: 24 months

Client: Ministry of Health

Institutional recipient: ISPESL – Institute for Prevention and Safety at Work

Operative units: -FISM Italian Multiple Sclerosis Foundation -Foundation Laboratory for social policies – LABOS -ISPESL – DML

Issue addressed: For clinical developmental features, MS can be a model for physical disabilities. The diagnosis of MS occurs between the ages of 15 and 50, affecting 2: 1 women more than men with more difficulties at work. MS is diagnosed when the person is entering the workforce or is in the moment of making decisions about job opportunities. However, the diagnosis is not unusual at a later age, when the person can be well integrated into the work, with a work history of ten or more years. The MS is chronic and develops both visible and “invisible” damages, with an unpredictable trend that can go from the “benign”, with symptoms evident only at the time of diagnosis and little evolution, to progressively worsening over time, with or without appearing or disappear of new symptoms. Clinical centers, care services, individual operators, the interdisciplinary approach, can play an important role in insertion or retention at work.

Objectives of the project: The aim is to define the factors that contribute to determining the working status of people with physical disabilities and propose interventions that keep the person at work. A) What is the impact of MS, symptoms, drugs, etc. on the work situation b) What is the relevance of the social factors on the work situation including the employer’s attitude, the accessibility of the workplace, work flexibility, etc. c) There are social or disease-related factors or others that differentiate people with MS from work without them. d) What are the working and relational resources of the patient and of the formal and informal caregiver most incident in their QDV e) the role of the competent doctor

Results to be achieved: Identification of all stakeholders, and definition of the role of each, involved in determinism factors favoring / contrasting the working condition as well as those involved in the interventions. Guidelines for decision makers, concerning an adequate organization of the work activities of the operators. Guidelines for the Services / operators in charge of intervention for the person with MS. Specific indications on the integration of the assistance network interventions with reference to the interdisciplinary approach linked to the type of disease. Starting from the type of disease characterized by differentiated clinical and care patterns over time and in evolution, highlighting the elements that characterize similar interventions related to other pathologies that determine similar disabilities of physical disabilities. Indications on the predisposition of evidence based interventions aimed at improving the QDV of the person with MS and the formal and informal operators. Sensitization of the prevention figures on the work potential of people with MS in order to implement an adequate work integration in compliance with safety regulations. force in force.

Methodology: For the study of the factors determining employment / unemployment in MS, people with MS will be recruited, either currently employed or employed up to 5 years earlier. Participants will be involved in the local sections of the MS Association and in the neurological departments of the north, south and central Italy, and of the islands. The data will be collected using a general questionnaire, self-administered, and in the form of a list of factors that can both facilitate and threaten the maintenance of the job, factors divided into three main categories (personal, MS-related, work-related), with six sub-categories. The proposed questionnaire includes closed questions and points related to demographic information, including the age of diagnosis, number of years of work, number of years worked since diagnosis, etc. is intended to address two main problems: which factors make / make the job easier and which factors make / make the job difficult.

Contact person: Anna Calvaruso