Content » Vol 42, Issue 1

Original report

Employment status of patients with neuromuscular diseases in relation to personal factors, fatigue and health status: A secondary analysis

Marie-Antoinette H. Minis, Joke S. Kalkman, Reinier P. Akkermans, Josephine A. Engels, Peter A. Huijbregts, Gijs Bleijenberg, Rob A.B. Oostendorp, Baziel G.M. van Engelen
DOI: 10.2340/16501977-0482


Objective: To determine the number of employed people in a group of patients with neuromuscular diseases and in 3 separate subgroups (facioscapulo-humeral dystrophy, hereditary motor and sensory neuropathy, and myotonic dystrophy) to investigate any differences in employment status between the patient groups, and to identify factors related to employment status.
Design: Cross-sectional study.
Patients: A total of 591 patients with neuromuscular diseases participated in the study, 138 with facioscapulo-humeral dystrophy, 135 with hereditary motor and sensory neuro­pathy, and 318 with myotonic dystrophy.
Methods: Self-report questionnaires, the Checklist Individual Strength (CIS) and the Short Form-36 (SF-36).
Results: Of the patients with neuromuscular diseases in the study, 56.7% were employed. Younger age, being male, and higher education contributed significantly to employment status of the neuromuscular diseases group and the hereditary motor and sensory neuropathy and myotonic dystrophy subgroups. Significant between-group differences for employed vs not employed subjects were present in the total neuromuscular diseases group on all subscales of the CIS and SF-36. Factors related to employment status differed for the 3 neuromuscular diseases subgroups.
Conclusion: More than half of the patients with neuromuscular diseases were employed. Patients with facioscapulo-humeral dystrophy and patients with hereditary motor and sensory neuropathy were more often employed than patients with myotonic dystrophy. Between-group analyses for differences in baseline factors revealed 11 significant factors related to employment. Multivariate logistic analyses revealed 6 factors contributing to employment for the group of patients with neuromuscular diseases.

Lay Abstract


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