Migraine is associated with reduced productivity in work-related activities. The degree to which problems with work are, in turn, associated to the level of migraine-related disability as well as to headache frequency has been poorly explored. The aim of the study was to assess if migraine patients with different degrees of work difficulties showed a different level of migraine-related disability. A consecutive sample of patients with episodic migraine (EM) or with chronic migraine (CM) with medication overuse (MO) attending the Headache Centre of the Neurological Institute C. Besta of Milan was studied. All patients completed the MIDAS and the WHODAS 2.0 questionnaires. The total scores of both questionnaires, frequency of headaches, average pain intensity, and the scores of each subscale of the WHODAS 2.0 were calculated separately for EM and CM patients. The score of WHODAS 2.0 "Work difficulties" subscale was used to divide the studied patients into two groups, i.e. those above and those below the median "Work difficulties" subscale score. Independent sample t test was used to compare these two groups as far as all the other studied variables. A total of 296 patients (102 with EM and 194 with CM-MO) were enrolled. Patients with higher work difficulties score also displayed higher scores in the other WHODAS 2.0 subscales; for those with CM-MO, the differences were significant. The results of this study indicate that having more and more severe workplace problems is associated to a higher disability level in migraineurs. Further studies are needed to better understand workplace disability in different migraine forms, particularly in a qualitative way.
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