Migraine in the Workplace

Looking At The Impact Migraine Has On You at Work

As a final year Economics undergraduate student at the University of the West of England (UWE), Bristol, Gurpreet wanted to focus on something that was important to her as part of her dissertation. We spoke to Gurpreet as to why she wanted to focus on migraines;

“I’ve always had migraines. My recent phase began 14 months ago. I had just started a 1 year placement as part of my third year at university.  Within a month, I was taking codeine nearly every day and started to take various preventatives at higher doses.

I have struggled with migraines and part-time work before but the following year really tested me. I saw changes in my approach to work and definitely my social life.

Migraine in the workplace

Did I have a migraine on my 21st birthday? Yes. Have I learnt how to manage attacks? Relatively but it still disrupts my life. 

Having endlessly searched for answers, I find solitude in others' experiences. However I think research on the effects of migraines in the workplace and impact of social changes is not deep enough. It’s the small things like not being comfortable driving that are significant or the debilitating frustration from knowing something must be wrong.

I am now in my final year of university and have an opportunity to raise awareness of the severity and provide reassurance to others.” 

The project aims to assess the effect of migraines in the workplace. Gurpreet tells us more;

“The research surrounding economic and social effects of health and work, focuses on symptoms arising from a work environment and the changes in absenteeism. The economics discipline focuses on the costs of these directly to firms. This overlooks the underlying illness, migraine, becoming worse in a work environment, straining personal situations and forming a relatively continual cycle. The research on migraines in the workplace is limited and I think the understanding of migraines from a sufferer’s perspective is not quite deep enough. 

To understand the impact of migraine in the workplace, I hope to conduct the focus groups on 23rd and 24th February, using a software similar to Skype, which can simply be accessed from a web link. 

The project will focus on economics in the workplace by considering effects on output, productivity (as mentioned previously) but also promotion, satisfaction and income.

This interaction is also not given much consideration in existing research, so I really hope people are keen to share their experiences.”

If you would like to take part in Gurpreet’s online focus group, please get in contact with Migraine Action at info@migraine.org.uk.  

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