Background: Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a common disease across the world as well as in Iran. Individuals with MS usually experience occupational performance problems that result in limitations in their daily life. This study aimed to determine the occupational performance of individuals with MS based on the disability level in Iran.
Methods: In this cross-sectional study, 50 individuals with MS (20 to 50 years old) were recruited through a convenience sampling strategy from different clinics in Arak City, Iran, during 2016-2017. The Persian versions of Canadian Occupational Performance Measure (COPM) and Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) were used to assess the status of occupational performance and level of disability. The data were analyzed using chi-square, Spearman's rank correlation, and Mann-Whitney U tests.
Results: The total number of 248 occupations were identified as difficult to perform in the following areas: 125 (50.40%) in self-care, 58 (23.38%) in productivity, and 65 (26.20%) in leisure. In addition, the prioritized occupations (n = 149, median: 3, range: 1-4) had significant difference in the distribution of occupations compared with the non-prioritized occupations (P < 0.0001) and the ratings for performances and satisfactions were generally low. There were significant differences between the occupational performance and level of EDSS.
Conclusion: The findings of current study suggest that individuals with MS suffer from widespread problems in the areas of occupational performance, particularly in self-care. The findings emphasize the need for identifying the problems of daily occupations in individuals with MS.