Headache in a population of hospital workers.

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Headache in a population of hospital workers.

Neurol Sci. 2014 May;35 Suppl 1:157-8

Authors: Viticchi G, Falsetti L, Pettinari P, Provinciali L, Silvestrini M, Bartolini M

Headache prevalence is very high, especially during working life. Hospital workers are expected to be particularly careful with health problems. Few data are available about the dimension of the headache-related problems among hospital workers, including disease awareness and diagnostic delay. 502 subjects employed in our hospital (doctors, nurses, technicians, administrative employees) were enrolled over a 3-month period and submitted to a questionnaire about the presence of headache, its characteristics and time spent from disease onset to diagnosis. We used the ID-migraine test, a validated tool, to obtain a correct migraine diagnosis based on a three-question test. Age and education were collected as continuous variables while the other variables (sex, presence of headache, presence of migraine, diagnosis put by the general practitioners) were encoded as binary. The difference of the distribution of the analyzed variables in tables was evaluated with χ (2) test. The data were analyzed with SPSS 13.0 for Windows systems. In the analyzed population (mean age 40.15 ± 11.0 years; males 60.7 %), 216 patients complained of headache (43.1 %) and 77 (15.4 %) were diagnosed as migraineous at the in-hospital evaluation. Among the 216 cephalalgic patients, the majority (59.7 %, p < 0.0001 at χ (2) test) did not refer to their general practitioner. Of the 77 patients affected by migraine, 55.8 % referred to their general practitioner, but only 27 (35.1 %) received a definite migraine diagnosis. Fifty subjects (64.9 %) were still undiagnosed and unevaluated at the moment of our survey (p < 0.0001 at χ (2) test). Headache prevalence was very high in this population of hospital workers. Diagnostic errors and delays were frequent. Unexpectedly, self-awareness of the headache was very low. Headache, particularly migraine, is a relevant cause of loss of working days and low productivity. Our findings suggest the necessity to program initiatives aimed to raise the awareness of headache in order to improve diagnostic and therapeutic possibilities.

PMID: 24867855 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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