Content » Vol 42, Issue 1

Original report

Factors associated with recovery expectations following vehicle collision: A population-based study

Dejan Ozegovic, Linda J. Carroll, J. David Cassidy
DOI: 10.2340/16501977-0466


Objective: Positive expectations predict better outcomes for a variety of health conditions including recovery from whiplash-associated disorders, but we know little about which individuals have negative expectations, and therefore may be at risk for poor whiplash-associated disorders recovery.
Methods: We assessed expectations for global recovery in a population-based cohort of 6015 individuals with traffic-related whiplash-associated disorders. We used multinomial logistic regression analysis to model factors associated with expecting to recover slowly, or not recover at all, as opposed to expecting to recover quickly.
Results: Depressive symptomatology, lower education, lower income, male gender, younger age, being a passenger in the vehicle, history of neck pain, and greater initial pain (greater percentage of body in pain, greater intensity of neck pain and presence of low back and/or headache pain) were associated with poor expectations for recovery.
Conclusion: A number of demographic, socioeconomic and injury-related factors were associated with expectations for recovery in whiplash-associated disorders. Two of the strongest associated factors were depressive symptomat­ology and initial neck pain intensity. These results support
using a biopsychosocial approach to evaluate expectancies and their influence on important health outcomes.

Lay Abstract


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