The migraine work and productivity loss questionnaire: Concepts and design

Debra J. Lerner, B. C. Amick, S. Malspeis, W. H. Rogers, N. C. Santanello, W. C. Gerth, R. B. Lipton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Our objectives were to: (1) develop a self-report questionnaire for measuring the impact of migraine headache on work; and (2) qualitatively assess aspects of its performance. Two samples of migraine sufferers provided the data. Sample 1 (n = 18) participated in a structured discussion group designed to elicit examples of migraine's on-the-job impact. Sample 2 (n = 11) completed a mail survey and participated in in-depth phone interviews. Interviews addressed item comprehensibility, consistency of interpretation, the cognitive processes by which certain answers were generated and response burden. The participants were currently employed men and women, at least 18 years of age, who met the International Headache Society (IHS) criteria for migraine headache [1]. Discussion group participants indicated that migraine attacks substantially diminished their job performance. Pain, photophobia, phonophobia, mental impairment and fatigue were perceived as interfering with even routine or relatively simple job tasks. The Migraine Work and Productivity Loss Questionnaire, Version 1.0 (MWPLQ)* was written. Next, it was assessed in the context of the in-depth interviews. Result indicated that the MWPLQ was comprehended without difficulty, interpreted consistently and easy to complete. Thus, qualitative results provide initial support for the new questionnaire.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)699-710
Number of pages12
JournalQuality of Life Research
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1999


  • Migraine
  • Quality of Life
  • Work Productivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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