The Journal of Headache and Pain

Official Journal of the "European Headache Federation" and of "Lifting The Burden - The Global Campaign against Headache"

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Volume 15 Supplement 1

Abstracts from the 4th European Headache and Migraine Trust International Congress: EHMTIC 2014

Open Access

EHMTI-0246. Lost productive time attributed to headache in a heavy-manufacturing workforce in Turkey

  • M Selekler1,
  • G Gokmen2 and
  • TJ Steiner3
The Journal of Headache and Pain201415(Suppl 1):B32

Published: 18 September 2014


Unemployment RateLostSocial FactorDominant FactorProductivity Loss


Headache disorders cause productivity losses through absenteeism and presenteeism. Productivity losses may be influenced as much by culture, social factors (employment levels) and the nature of the work as by frequency and severity of headache.


To investigate productivity loss and its characteristics due to headache.


We studied headache-attributed time losses in the workforce (n=7,200) of Ford Otomotiv Sanayi AS, a vehicle manufacturing company. Over one year, the HALT-30 questionnaire was administered to every employee during their routine annual health-check.


We obtained usable data from 5,916 employees (92.7% male, 7.3% female; mean age 32.5±5.4 years) among whom 1-month headache prevalence was 45.4%, with 896 (16.4% of the workforce) reporting headache-attributed productivity loss. Presenteeism greatly outweighed absenteeism (3,036 [94%] vs 190 mean total days/month). The nature of an employee’s work, from office and managerial through paint-house to heavy manufacturing (welder, assembler, press-metal worker), had insignificant impact on the probability of reporting productivity losses (range 15.2-18.8%) or on the mean loss per individual (range 2.8-3.6 days/month).


The lost productive time recorded was about 2.3% of all available time – a substantial penalty. It was surprising that the nature of work had so little influence, but it may be that the country’s economic state and unemployment rate, and the related social issues, were dominant factors. Supporting this was the finding that 94% of lost productivity was accounted for by presenteeism – largely hidden from the employer.

No conflict of interest.

Authors’ Affiliations

Department of Neurology, Kocaeli University Faculty of Medicine, Kocaeli, Turkey
Company Health Services, Ford Otomotiv Sanayi AS, Kocaeli, Turkey
Department of Neuroscience, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway


© Selekler et al; licensee Springer. 2014

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


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