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Whiplash associated disorder: Incidence and natural history over the first month of patients presenting to a UK emergency department

Whiplash associated disorder: Incidence and natural history over the first month of patients presenting to a UK emergency department
Whiplash associated disorder: Incidence and natural history over the first month of patients presenting to a UK emergency department
Objectives: To describe the epidemiology, process of care, and outcomes at 4–6 weeks after injury among patients with whiplash associated disorder attending a UK emergency department.
Methods: All patients presenting during the study period with neck pain following a road traffic accident who met the inclusion criteria were assessed. Patients were followed up with a telephone interview at 4–6 weeks after attendance using the Neck Disability Index (NDI). The patient’s general practitioner (GP) was contacted post attendance to ascertain subsequent healthcare use.
Results: A total of 200 patients were recruited to the study, of which 30 were lost to follow up. Four variables, midline tenderness (p = 0.008; 95% CI 0.9 to 6.1), x ray request (p = 0.004; 0.9 to 6.1), wearing a seat belt (p = 0.038; 0.2 to 6.2), and having seen their GP post injury (p = 0.001; CI –10.5 to 6.6), were found to be associated with a higher NDI score at follow up. Significant correlation was identified with a high pain score and an increasing age of patient and high NDI scores. No correlation was found between the impact speed, speed of vehicle struck, or time since incident with the NDI. Two thirds of patients had some disability at 4–6 weeks after injury; 91 patients (54.5%) saw their GP in the intervening period between attending the department and telephone follow up, and 87/170 patients had no idea about their prognosis.
Conclusions: This study identifies that there is significant disability associated with whiplash associated disorder. Clear prognostic information would be a useful development.
neck pain, whiplash associated disorder
1472-0205
114-118
Crouch, R.
7f98a42e-ee34-4520-ab33-83cd3acf05b7
Whitewick, R.
29b34cd7-f0ca-4115-b40e-7020cca7521c
Clancy, M.
55fb4b0b-31a1-4182-8bd2-ff4b31fa4a14
Wright, P.
56f297c9-9693-463d-ad60-f23cddc80250
Thomas, P.
260a29e1-369d-4578-a3df-0e3ba5346608
Crouch, R.
7f98a42e-ee34-4520-ab33-83cd3acf05b7
Whitewick, R.
29b34cd7-f0ca-4115-b40e-7020cca7521c
Clancy, M.
55fb4b0b-31a1-4182-8bd2-ff4b31fa4a14
Wright, P.
56f297c9-9693-463d-ad60-f23cddc80250
Thomas, P.
260a29e1-369d-4578-a3df-0e3ba5346608

Crouch, R., Whitewick, R., Clancy, M., Wright, P. and Thomas, P. (2006) Whiplash associated disorder: Incidence and natural history over the first month of patients presenting to a UK emergency department. Emergency Medicine Journal, 23 (2), 114-118. (doi:10.1136/emj.2004.022145).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Objectives: To describe the epidemiology, process of care, and outcomes at 4–6 weeks after injury among patients with whiplash associated disorder attending a UK emergency department.
Methods: All patients presenting during the study period with neck pain following a road traffic accident who met the inclusion criteria were assessed. Patients were followed up with a telephone interview at 4–6 weeks after attendance using the Neck Disability Index (NDI). The patient’s general practitioner (GP) was contacted post attendance to ascertain subsequent healthcare use.
Results: A total of 200 patients were recruited to the study, of which 30 were lost to follow up. Four variables, midline tenderness (p = 0.008; 95% CI 0.9 to 6.1), x ray request (p = 0.004; 0.9 to 6.1), wearing a seat belt (p = 0.038; 0.2 to 6.2), and having seen their GP post injury (p = 0.001; CI –10.5 to 6.6), were found to be associated with a higher NDI score at follow up. Significant correlation was identified with a high pain score and an increasing age of patient and high NDI scores. No correlation was found between the impact speed, speed of vehicle struck, or time since incident with the NDI. Two thirds of patients had some disability at 4–6 weeks after injury; 91 patients (54.5%) saw their GP in the intervening period between attending the department and telephone follow up, and 87/170 patients had no idea about their prognosis.
Conclusions: This study identifies that there is significant disability associated with whiplash associated disorder. Clear prognostic information would be a useful development.

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Published date: February 2006
Keywords: neck pain, whiplash associated disorder

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 24006
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/24006
ISSN: 1472-0205
PURE UUID: 937c632a-8f42-405f-a4ce-67f9ea0fceb2

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Date deposited: 10 Aug 2007
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 16:15

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Contributors

Author: R. Crouch
Author: R. Whitewick
Author: M. Clancy
Author: P. Wright
Author: P. Thomas

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