Productivity and monetary loss due to migraine in the workplace may be substantial. This study aimed to determine the impact of migraine on productivity and monetary lost among employees in the banking sectors, in a multiethnic middle income country.
A cross-sectional online survey was conducted among employees in two multinational banks in Malaysia between April and July 2019. Screening for migraine was conducted using the self-administered ID-Migraine™ questionnaire. Migraine-related disability (MIDAS) and headache frequency were recorded. Impact of migraine on work productivity and activities were evaluated using the Work Productivity and Activity Impairment (WPAI) questionnaire.
Of the 1268 employees who submitted complete responses, 47.2% (n = 598) were screened positive for migraine. Strikingly, the mean percent productivity loss at work (presenteeism) was almost 20-fold higher than the mean percent work time missed due to migraine (absenteeism) (39.1% versus 1.9%). The mean percent productivity loss in regular activity (activity impairment) and overall work productivity loss (work impairment) was 38.4% and 39.9%, respectively. It was also found that the costs related to presenteeism (MYR 5392.6) (US$1296) was 3.5-fold higher than absenteeism (MYR1,548.3) (US$370). Highest monetary loss related to presenteeism was reported in migraineurs with frequency of headache of above 3 days (MYR 25,691.2) (US$6176), whereas highest monetary loss related to absenteeism was reported in migraineurs with MIDAS grade IV (MYR 12,369.1) (US$2973). Only 30% of migraineurs of MIDAS grade IV reported taking prescribed medication. Notably, a vast majority (96%) of migraineurs who had three or lower episodes of migraine per month did not seek treatment.
The significant impact of migraine on work productivity and regular activity, appears to lead to substantial monetary loss attributed to not only absenteeism, but more importantly to presenteeism. This study also highlights the unmet needs in migraine management among employees in the banking sector.