The Importance of Workplace Migraine Awareness

Pharmaceutical company Novartis specifically developed a Migraine Care programme for its Swiss-based staff and family members. They analysed the impact of the programme on participants’ management of their migraine conditions after a period of six months. 

The Importance of Workplace Migraine Awareness  

The Migraine Care programme began with educational sessions, which promoted a greater understanding of the condition, helping management to create migraine-friendly work environments. Afterwards, those who had signed up to the programme received nurse-led telephone coaching on migraine self-management for a period of up to six months. Participants were given action plans which covered sleep, hydration, coping techniques, and daily routines (among other things) which would help them to manage their condition.


In addition to the advice and action plans, each participant was asked to keep a record of the number of days of work, social activities, and household work which was missed because of their migraines, and those days where productivity was reduced due to a migraine attack. This information was then used to create a “migraine disability assessment” score. 


After six months of the Migraine Care programme, the researchers found that the mean average disability assessment score had greatly decreased, while at the same time the absenteeism rates improved. Another positive was that, by the end of the study, the percentage of participants with migraine disability scores of at least a mild migraine disability level decreased from 72.9% to 39%

The head of Pharma People and Organization at Novartis, Caroline Barth, stated that “supporting people with conditions like migraine and providing education in the workplace can result in significant benefits for both employee and employer, as demonstrated by our Migraine Care pilot program”.

 Given how good the results from the Novartis scheme are, perhaps other companies may be happy to follow their example.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *