Study Looks at Links Between Perceptions of Disability, Job Satisfaction in Patients With Migraine

A recent study indicates that the level of job satisfaction among patients with migraine influences the impact of perceived disability on work productivity.

Patients experiencing migraine headaches may suffer from a negative cycle if they have negative perceptions of their disability, perceiving it as more burdensome, and have less job satisfaction, which, in turn, decreases their work productivity, according to a recent study.

Migraines are the cause of an estimated 250,000,000 lost days from work or school every year, the researchers said, and is often associated with reduced work productivity. Treating migraines can reduce productivity loss, the researchers said. A previous study reported mean productivity losses of 4.7 hours per week for migraine in the United States.

Researchers hypothesized that perceived disability would be significantly associated with job satisfaction and work productivity, that job satisfaction would be significantly related to work productivity, and that job satisfaction would significantly mediate the association between perceived disability and work productivity. The cross-sectional study looked at 98 adult outpatients, who were given the Italian Perceived Disability Scale (IDPS), a 20-item self-report instrument assessing headache-related disability on a 5-point Likert scale; the Quality of Life Enjoyment and Satisfaction Questionnaire—Work Subscale (Q-LES-Q), a 12-item self-report measure of the degree of enjoyment and satisfaction experienced in one’s job/work; and the Endicott Work Productivity Scale (EWPS), which quantifies the frequency of work performance and productivity attitudes and behaviors over a 1-week period, for a broad range of diseases and occupations.

All patients were being treated with OnabotulinumtoxinA (sold under the name Botox). Their average age was 48.3 years; 15 patients (15.3%) had a secondary school education, 52 patients (53.1%) had a high school education, and 31 patients (31.6%) reported obtaining a college degree. Seventy-six participants (77.6%) were married. None of the patients had significant medical problems other than migraine or stress-related disorders.

The researchers said that results revealed that perceived disability, job satisfaction, and work productivity in patients affected by migraines are linked to each other while highlighting the importance of job satisfaction as a key factor involved in the genesis of perceived disability. But additional controlled studies are needed, they said.


Berardelli I, Sarubbi S, Lamis DA, et al. Job satisfaction mediates the association between perceived disability and work productivity in migraine headache patients [published online September 10, 2019]. Int J Environ Res Public Health. doi: 10.3390/ijerph16183341.