Questionnaire Reliably Predicts Effect of Migraine on Work-Related Duties

woman with a headache being offered water
woman with a headache being offered water
The use of the HEADWORK questionnaire may provide insight into the effects of migraines on work productivity and lost workdays.

The 17-item HEADWORK questionnaire, which is grouped into 2 scales that assess the effect of headache on work and work-related activities, is a valid tool to assess headache effects on quality of life for patients with chronic migraine and episodic migraine, according to a study in The Journal of Headache and Pain.

Patients 18 years of age and older with a confirmed diagnosis of migraine (eg, episodic migraine with or without migraine and chronic migraine) were recruited from 8 Italian headache centers (n=373). In some cases, patients kept headache diaries to document their headache throughout the study. The 25-item version of the HEADWORK questionnaire, the Migraine Disability Assessment schedule, the World Health Organization 12-item Disability Assessment Schedule, and the Migraine Specific Quality of Life Questionnaire were administered.

Items on the HEADWORK questionnaire assessed patients’ work tasks and work-related activities and whether specific factors limited patients’ work-related abilities and/or prevented them from performing work-related activities. Items associated with work-related difficulties and factors that contributed to work difficulties explained 67.1% and 52.1% of the total variance, respectively. In addition, these subscales demonstrated good measurement properties. Higher scores on the HEADWORK subscales were associated with lower quality of life, higher disability, and higher pain intensity and headache frequency.

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A limitation of the analysis included the lack of stability testing of the HEADWORK questionnaire to determine answer consistency during a longer follow-up period.

The investigators concluded that the HEADWORK questionnaire represents “a feasible way to produce reliable work-related disability weights in studies evaluating the burden of episodic and chronic migraine in epidemiological and clinical research.”

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Raggi A, Covelli V, Guastafierro E, et al. Validation of a self-reported instrument to assess work-related difficulties in patients with migraine: the HEADWORK questionnaire. J Headache Pain. 2018;19:85.

This article originally appeared on Neurology Advisor