Wednesday, 8 April 2015

The social impact of being diagnosed with either Multiple Sclerosis or Parkinson Disease

The Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson Disease Society of Canterbury, is conducting research on the social impact of being diagnosed with either of these diseases. Very little research has been undertaken on this topic internationally.  .The aim of this project is to get realistic New Zealand experience and information on the impact of these diseases on an individual’s employment status. We hope that our findings would assist employers to decide:
·         whether they could continue employing the person in their current role.
·         whether support mechanisms are desirable for the continued employment of the individual.
·         how and when an employer/employee discussion should take place about changing their role.
Specifically we are launching a series of inter-related studies (approx. 6-8) on the experience of employers and employees when an employee is diagnosed with MS or Parkinson’s. While not unique these two diseases have a special characteristic that they are long-term degenerative disease. So when first diagnosed a person may have many years before they are seriously incapacitated (if at all). The symptoms and progress of both of these diseases is unique in an individual.
If  an employer is able to continue their employment with confidence, they do not need to lose the experience and institutional knowledge of the person and they are also able to avoid the expensive process of hiring a new person.
All studies will be supervised by an academic and research active staff member of a NZ university. The researchers involved in the study will most likely be masters and doctoral students. Our budget for each student  is about $5800.
·         A grant in aid of $3800 towards fees (this is about  50% of their student fees)  
·          $2000 per study for costs. 
On this basis the total cost of the project would be of the order of $46000 over a period of 4 years. 
We are looking for interested employers who are willing to help fund this research project.  All sponsors and sponsorship would be acknowledged in any publications/presentations. If you would like to find out more about this project, please contact:
John A George,
 Chairman of the Research Committee of the
 Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson’s Society Canterbury Inc.
please reply (subject: research project)

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