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The Cognitive Occupation-Based program for Multiple Sclerosis (COB-MS) project


Cognitive skills can be classified as the tasks performed by the brain which allow all other human tasks to take place. The way in which the brain carries out these tasks may be affected by disease. There are several diseases which can compromise a human’s brain function and cognitive skills. These can be present at birth (congenital), or they could be acquired during a person’s lifetime.

One example of an acquired disease is Multiple Sclerosis (MS). It is estimated that there are approximately 9,000 people living with MS in Ireland. Approximately 50-60% of people with MS experience difficulties with cognition, such as difficulties with information processing, memory, problem-solving and language.

It is estimated that about 85% of working-age people with a disability have acquired their disability over their lifetime (NDA, 2004). 90% of people living with MS are of working age, with the related fatigue and cognitive difficulties being linked to an increased likelihood of unemployment.

Although many people with MS, experience cognitive difficulties, there is little research on how people with MS can tackle these issues and how the problems affect the individuals.

The Cognitive Occupation-Based programme for Multiple Sclerosis (COB-MS) project was designed to consider the fluctuating nature of the disease, patient fatigue, and emotional and psychological well-being of the individual. COB-MS aims to support people to live and work independently. COB-MS is a patient-centred holistic programme for people with MS, involving 8 sessions occurring over a nine-week period.

The aim of the current study is to test the integrity of the protocol of the COB-MS programme. The wide-ranging difficulties suggest an individualised approach to rehabilitation would be most beneficial for this population. At present, all sessions are taking place online due to the impact of COVID-19.

For further information, the team involved in the development of the programme can be contacted at the following email address: [email protected].

Alternatively, if you need further information or advice in relation to accessible and inclusive employment please do not hesitate to contact one of our team on (01) 415 12 85 or e-mail [email protected]