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More MS news articles for May 2003

Getting the work done: a qualitative study of individuals with multiple sclerosis

Disabil Rehabil 2003;25(8):369-79
Yorkston K, Johnson K, Klasner E, Amtmann D, Kuehn C, Dudgeon B.

The Problem:

Work can be defined as an activity performed to accomplish something in the presence of obstacles that may make accomplishing the goal difficult.

For individuals with MS, work is not only limited by physical impairments but also by factors such as fatigue and cognitive changes.


The aim of this study is to examine the experiences of individuals with mild to moderate MS as they carry out everyday work activities both inside and outside the home.


Eleven women and three men were recruited from the community to participate in a series of semi-structured interviews.

Using qualitative research methodology that examined the experiences of the participants, two major themes and seven subthemes emerged.


The first theme, Defining the work, included Priorities: seeing what's important; Plans: learning about resources and requirements; and Perspectives: fixing it yourself.

The second theme, Changing how things get done, includes Precipitating factors; Awareness; Constructing the strategies; and Evaluating the strategies.


Individuals with MS develop strategies and utilize resources in order to get the work done.

Comparisons are made between existing intervention theories or programmes and the experiences described by participants in this study.