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  • 1.
    Kavaliunas, Andrius
    et al.
    Karolinska Institutet.
    Tinghög, Petter
    The Swedish Red Cross University College, Department of Health Sciences. Karolinska Institutet.
    Friberg, Emilie
    Karolinska Institutet.
    Olsson, Tomas
    Karolinska Institutet / Karolinska University Hospital.
    Alexanderson, Kristina
    Karolinska Institutet.
    Hillert, Jan
    Karolinska Institutet / Karolinska University Hospital.
    Karrenbauer, Virginija Danylaite
    Karolinska Institutet /Karolinska University Hospital.
    Cognitive function predicts work disability among multiple sclerosis patients2019In: Multiple sclerosis journal - experimental, translational and clinical, ISSN 2055-2173, Vol. 5, no 1, article id 2055217318822134Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: In multiple sclerosis various aspects of cognitive function can be detrimentally affected. More than that, patients´ employment and social functioning is likely to be impacted.

    Objective: To determine whether work disability among multiple sclerosis patients could be predicted by the symbol digit modalities test.

    Methods: A register-based cohort study was conducted. Individual data on work disability, operationalised as annual net days of sickness absence and/or disability pension were retrieved at baseline, when the symbol digit modalities test was performed, after one-year and 3-year follow-up for 903 multiple sclerosis patients. The incidence rate ratios for work disability were calculated with general estimating equations using a negative binomial distribution and were adjusted for gender, age, educational level, family composition, type of living area and physical disability.

    Results: After one year of follow-up, the patients in the lowest symbol digit modalities test quartile were estimated to have a 73% higher rate of work disability when compared to the patients in the highest symbol digit modalities test quartile (incidence rate ratio 1.73, 95% confidence interval 1.42‒2.10). This estimate after 3-year follow-up was similar (incidence rate ratio 1.68, 95% confidence interval 1.40‒2.02).

    Conclusion: Cognitive function is to a high extent associated with multiple sclerosis patients' future work disability, even after adjusting for other factors.

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