Migraines, Work Productivity and Education Programmes


When you have a migraine, doing even small tasks like having a shower can be a seemingly insurmountable challenge, let alone getting any work done.

For those who suffer with migraines personally, and also those who employ people who suffer with them, the issue of how best to manage migraine attacks is a knotty one. You want to be boosting productivity, but also making sure that you’re looking after migraine sufferer(s) and doing all you can to help them.

There are ways both of these aims – of caring and of boosting productivity – can be done.

It’s been found that putting in place migraine education programmes can be hugely beneficial. One study found that by organising educational events such as lunch conferences and webinars, sending out email newsletters, and making available online materials covering topics like ‘communicating with your colleagues about migraine’ and ‘lifestyle changes that can mitigate symptoms’, resulted in an increase in productivity of between 29-36%. This was thanks to fewer days missed because of migraine attacks, fewer days worked with migraine attacks, and increased effectiveness on days which employees worked with migraine attacks. 

Naturally these education programs can be useful for employees and employers who are directly affected by migraines, but they can also help by working to dispel the myth that migraines are “just a bad headache” and in so doing dispel the stigma around migraines. This certainly needs doing as, according to one survey which involved almost 200,000 U.S. workers, only 22% thought that migraine is a serious enough condition to warrant staying home from work.

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