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The Impact of Self-Reported Recurrent Headache on Absenteeism and Presenteeism at Work Among Finnish Municipal Female Employees

Authors Malmberg-Ceder K, Vuorio T, Korhonen PE, Kautiainen H, Soinila S, Haanpää M

Received 15 January 2020

Accepted for publication 6 July 2020

Published 21 August 2020 Volume 2020:13 Pages 2135—2142


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Michael A Überall

Kirsi Malmberg-Ceder,1 Tiina Vuorio,2 Päivi E Korhonen,2 Hannu Kautiainen,3 Seppo Soinila,4 Maija Haanpää5

1Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Turku, Turku, Finland; 2Department of General Practice, University of Turku and Turku University Hospital, Turku, Finland; 3Unit of Primary Health Care, Kuopio University Hospital, Kuopio, Finland; 4Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Turku and Turku University Hospital, Turku, Finland; 5Mutual Insurance Company Ilmarinen, Helsinki, Finland

Correspondence: Kirsi Malmberg-Ceder Email

Purpose: The aim of this cross-sectional, observational study was to determine the impact of self-reported headache on absenteeism and presenteeism in a female working-age population.
Subjects and Methods: The study population consisted of 594 Finnish female municipal employees, who answered self-administered questionnaires including sociodemographic, lifestyle, health, and work-related data. Sickness absence days were obtained from the official records of the employer. Headache recurrence was defined by asking whether headache was occasional or recurrent. Headache impact was measured by the HIT-6.
Results: In our study, 456 (77%) females had headache, and headache was recurrent in 178 (39%). The self-reported recurrence of headache was related to age, AUDIT-C, health-rated quality-of-life, self-rated work ability, depressive symptoms, and work stress (P for linearity < 0.001). They also had more depressive symptoms and work stress (P for linearity < 0.001). Mental work load was highest in those with recurrent headache (P=0.042), and work engagement was highest in those without headache (P=0.038). There was no statistically significant difference in absenteeism days between the headache groups when adjusted with confounding variables. Presenteeism was associated with the recurrence of headache (P for linearity < 0.001). Presenteeism and the HIT-6 score were significantly associated in the recurrent headache group (P=0.009).
Conclusion: Headache was not related to absenteeism, but the self-reported recurrence of headache was clearly associated with presenteeism in this female working-age population.

Keywords: work ability, sick leave, Headache Impact Test 6, HIT-6, lost productivity

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