Peer support to help jobseekers with MS find employment

Dr Diana Dorstyn

University of Adelaide

| Better treatments | Social And Applied Research | Incubator | 2019 | Investigator Led Research |


Australians with MS can experience significant challenges in finding and maintaining employment. However, peers who share their experience of living and working with MS can promote self-management and empowerment, and help other people with MS move into work. Peer-mentoring can also be a mutually beneficial relationship – participants who serve as peer leaders gain knowledge, skills and self-confidence. The evidence base for this form of employment support is, however, still at an early stage.

Dr Diana Dorstyn and her team will develop and test an online forum, MSJobSeek, led by employed peers with MS and overseen by a health psychologist. Peers share their work experiences and help motivate and encourage people with MS to explore work and study options. This group coaching and mentoring is supplemented with educational material to help users better understand the current job market. To maximise reach and quality of access, Dr Diana Dorstyn will deliver this targeted support and mentoring via the internet.

Dr Diana Dorstyn will examine whether MSJobSeek is effective in supporting return-to-work progression for people with relapsing remitting or progressive MS using a rigorous scientific study design. The findings will have important implications. It will generate new evidence on how job-seekers with MS engage with, and respond to, peer mentoring. It will also provide a framework for how peer support services might be run and optimised in MS vocational care.

Updated: 27th November 2019

Updated: 02 January, 2019

Stages of the research process

Fundamental laboratory

Laboratory research that investigates scientific theories behind the possible causes, disease progression, ways to diagnose and better treat MS.

Lab to clinic timeline: 10+ years

Research that builds on fundamental scientific research to develop new therapies, medical procedures or diagnostics and advances it closer to the clinic.

Lab to clinic timeline: 5+ years
Clinical Studies
and Clinical Trials

Clinical research is the culmination of fundamental and translational research turning those research discoveries into treatments and interventions for people with MS.

Lab to clinic timeline: 1-5 years


  • Dr Diana Dorstyn


  • Associate Professor Rachel Roberts
  • Professor Ashley Craig
  • Professor Ian Kneebone

Grant Awarded

  • Incubator Grant

Total Funding

  • $25,000


  • 1 year - starting 2019

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