Whiplash Following Rear End Collisions: A Prospective Cohort Study

Whiplash is defined as a symptom complex which is generally assumed to be a traumatic condition that follows a specific mechanism of injury. This article reports on a study undertaken to investigate the factors that predict neck pain initially and at 1 year following a rear end collision. The authors stress the importance of including all participants in a specific type of accident, rather than just those who present for medical treatment for whiplash. The authors identified all people who reported a rear end collision to the Devon and Cornwall Constabulary (England). The main outcome measures lasting for more than a week after the accident and neck pain at least 1 day a week at 1 year. A total of 1,147 people reported rear end collisions to the police during the study period and 503 (44%) agreed to take part in the study. Of the respondents, 78% had neck pain lasting for more than a week and 52% still had pain at 1 year. Age and prior history of neck pain were the most important predictors of early neck pain. The most important predictors of pain at 1 year were the initial neck visual analog scale (VAS) pain score and the presence of a compensation claim. There was only weak evidence that the severity of the impact was associated with outcomes. The authors conclude with a brief discussion of the interrelationship between compensation claims and recovery from whiplash.


  • English

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  • Accession Number: 01010585
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Nov 12 2005 6:19AM