Studies have documented loss of work capacity and work productivity loss in multiple sclerosis (MS). Little is known about the longitudinal trajectories of work productivity in MS.
To explore trajectories of work productivity in people living with multiple sclerosis (PwMS) and examine the baseline factors associated with assignment to the trajectories group.
Study participants were from the Australian MS Longitudinal Study (AMSLS) from 2015 to 2019 who were employed and had more than two follow-ups (n=2121). We used group-based trajectory modelling to identify unique work productivity trajectories in PwMS. Multinomial logistic regression was used to assess associations with the work productivity trajectories.
We identified three distinct trajectories of work productivity: ‘moderately worsened’ (16.7% of participants) with a mean work productivity of 47.6% in 2015, ‘mildly worsened’ (50.1%) with a mean work productivity of 86.3% in 2015 and ‘normal’ (33.2%) with a mean work productivity of 99.7% in 2015. The relative probability of being in a moderately or mildly worsened work productivity trajectory were higher for those with a higher education level, baseline work productivity, and high MS symptom severity. For example, the relative probability of being in ‘moderately worsened’ rather than ‘normal’ work productivity trajectory increased by 36% (RRR:1.36 ; 95% confidence interval:1.09 –1.71) for each unit increase in ‘fatigue and cognitive symptoms’ cluster.
Higher education level, and MS symptom severity increased the relative probability of following a low work productivity trajectory. Work productivity interventions should target MS symptoms severity and disability reduction.