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Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine:
College Affairs: Acoem 84Th Annual Meeting: Abstracts Of Scientific Sessions

Headache in the Workplace

Cady, Roger K. MD; Griesemer, Kathleen PsyD; Carter, Dale MD

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Director, Headache Center, Springfield, MO (Cady);

Headache Center, Springfield, MO (Griesemer, Carter)

Disabling headaches cost American business approximately 15 million dollars a year due primarily to a loss of 150 million work days annually (Nuprin Pain Report, 1985). For an update on these statistics, this study surveyed 685 employees of three different businesses in a mid-western community to measure the impact of headache on job performance. After a short educational discussion about headache, questionnaires were distributed to employees. Questions asked specifics about the presence, frequency, duration, and severity of headache symptoms as well as the impact of headache on workplace performance and medication use. With 50 percent of the questionnaires being returned, results indicated that 67-95 percent of employees reported having had disabling headaches. Of these, 25-43 percent reported headaches that interfered with their life. The gender ratio was nearly equal. The symptoms of the headaches that interfered with life were consistent with migraine. During an average month, 5.7 hours of work were missed due to headache and 28.5 hours were worked during headache. Pain, difficulty with thinking, and changes in mood were aspects of headache that interfered most with work performance. Headache medications were frequently used in the workplace. In conclusion, headache is a common workplace disturbance which has a significant impact on sufferers as well as the workplace environment.

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Section Description

American Occupational Health Conference (AOHC); April 28-30, 1999, New Orleans, LA

Thursday, April 29; 8:30am-10:00am

Session #109-Impacting Headache in the Workplace

© 1999 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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