Patterns of acute whiplash-associated disorder in the Lithuanian population after road traffic accidents
Evelina Pajediene , Jolita Janusauskaite , Gintaute Samusyte, Kestutis Stasaitis , Kestutis Petrikonis , Indre Bileviciute-Ljungar
Neurology, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, 443 07 Kaunas, Lithuania
Objective: To investigate acute whiplash-associated disorder in the Lithuanian population who are unaware of the phenomenon.
Design: Controlled cohort study.
Subjects/patients: Seventy-one patients were enrolled from the emergency departments of the Kaunas region of Lithuania following road traffic accidents, examined within 3–14 days after the accident, and compared with 53 matched controls.
Methods: Clinical neurological examination, including range of motion and motion-evoked pain or stiffness in the neck; spontaneous pain and pain pressure threshold. Questionnaires: Quebec Task Force questionnaire (QTFQ); Disability Rating Index (DRI); Cognitive Failures Questionnaire (CFQ); Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) and health perception.
Results: Sixty-six of 71 (93%) patients developed acute symptoms. The most frequent symptoms found after road traffic accidents were neck or shoulder pain; reduced or painful neck movements, including decreased range of motion; multiple subjective symptoms according to QTFQ and significantly reduced pain threshold. Perceived health status was decreased and DRI was increased, while HADS showed a significantly higher risk of developing anxiety. Higher grade whiplash-associated disorder was linked with a greater reduction in range of motion and more prominent neck pain.
Conclusion: Road traffic accidents induce whiplash-associated disorder in patients who seek help, but who are unaware of the condition whiplash-associated disorder. Whiplash-associated disorder should be considered and treated as an entity per se.
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