To determine if an unselected group of rodeo athletes would report a more benign outcome to their motor vehicle whiplash injuries than a group of spectators at rodeo events.
This survey compares the self-reported outcome of motor vehicle collision whiplash injuries (neck and/or back sprain) in rodeo athletes and spectators attending rodeo events. Subjects were asked to recall motor vehicle collision experiences, the type of vehicle they were in, the presence of symptoms as a result, and outcomes for those symptoms.
Forty-seven percent of rodeo athletes and 59% of spectators recalled being in a motor vehicle collision. A total of 33% of rodeo athletes who had collisions recalled acute symptoms they associated with the collision compared to a recall of symptoms in 61% of spectators who had collisions. Vehicle types during collisions and occupation type at time of the survey were the same for both groups. Duration of symptoms, however, was 30 days (+/- 14 days) in rodeo athletes and 73 days (+/- 61 days) in spectators. None of the rodeo athletes recalled symptoms lasting for more than 60 days compared to 15% of spectators who had symptoms more than 60 days. Rodeo athletes took no more than 3 weeks off work, whereas among spectators, it was common to take more than 6 weeks off.
Rodeo athletes appear to be in at least as many motor vehicle collisions as rodeo spectators, and 33% suffered the acute whiplash syndrome. Rodeo athletes appear, however, to be more resistant than spectators to developing prolonged pain and disability.
To assess the content of newspaper articles in 2 provinces in Canada to determine if rest or avoidance of activity is being recommended for back pain.
Inaccurate back pain beliefs in the general public may arise due to messages in the mass media. One persisting belief in Canada is that rest or activity avoidance is needed until back pain resolves.
We searched newspapers in 2 Canadian provinces via an electronic database for articles discussing back pain. Two trained raters used an article review template to indicate whether the article's main recommendation was to stay active, rest, was neutral (indicating a balance between rest and activity), or did not provide advice on level of activity during an episode of back pain.
One hundred 29 articles were identified. The primary advice provided related to level of activity during an episode of back pain was stay active in 24% of articles, whereas no articles primarily recommended rest or avoidance of activity. Sixteen percent of articles were rated as neutral, indicating the authors suggested a balance between rest and activity.
Back-pain-related newspaper articles do not carry messages that advocate rest or avoidance of activity, but rather highlight the importance of staying active during an episode or participating in exercise.
Cross-sectional cohort study: to examine concurrent expectations and coping style for whiplash injury in injury-naive subjects in Germany. Studies suggest the recovery rate from whiplash injury may be faster in Germany than in Canada. Canadians have a high expectation for chronic pain following whiplash injury and Germans do not. Expectation of recovery not only predicts recovery in whiplash victims but is also known to correlate with coping style. The Vanderbilt Pain Management Inventory was administered to university students and staff in Germany. Subjects who had not yet experienced whiplash injury were given a vignette concerning a neck sprain (whiplash injury) in a motor vehicle collision and were asked to indicate how likely they were to have thoughts or behaviours indicated in the coping style questionnaire. Subjects also completed expectation questionnaires regarding whiplash injury. Sixteen percent of subjects held an expectation of chronic neck or back pain after whiplash injury. The mean active coping style score was 27.4±3.6 (40 is the maximum score for active coping). The mean passive coping style score was 27.0±6.3 (50 is the maximum score for passive coping). Coping style scores and patterns were not different from those previously observed in Canadian studies, but there was no correlation between expectations and coping style among German subjects, a finding that differs from Canadian studies. Although expectations and coping styles may interact or be co-modifiers in the outcomes of whiplash injury in Canadian whiplash victims, in Germany, despite having similar coping styles to Canadians, the lack of expectation for chronic pain may be protective from the effect of passive coping styles. Further studies of coping style as an aetiologic factor in the chronic whiplash syndrome are needed.
General practitioners often need to track outcomes of whiplash patients, and a disability questionnaire may be useful.
Whiplash patients who attended primary care clinics in Edmonton, Canada were interviewed 3 months postcollision. Subjects were asked a global recovery question: "Do you feel you have recovered fully from your accident injuries?" Subjects then completed the Whiplash Disability Questionnaire (WDQ).
A total of 131 subjects participated. Of these, 52 (39.7%) reported that they felt they had recovered. Those who reported complete recovery had a mean WDQ score of 2.5 and those who reported they had not recovered had a mean WDQ score of 29.9. All who responded "yes" to the recovery question had a WDQ score below 13, while all those responding "no" to the recovery question had a WDQ score of 13 or more.
The WDQ as an outcome measure may be useful in clinical practice.
Excess cerumen (earwax) in the external auditory canal is associated with symptoms of earache, fullness in the ears, and diminished hearing. These symptoms, and tinnitus, are commonly associated with whiplash injury.
Eighty-six whiplash patients were examined to determine if there was a correlation between symptoms of earache, fullness in the ear, diminished hearing, and tinnitus, and the degree of cerumen occlusion. Cerumen occlusion was measured by visualisation of the tympanic membrane and graded according to a 4 point scale.
Of 71 subjects reporting no acute onset (within 7 days of the collision that caused their whiplash) earache, fullness in the ears, hearing loss, or tinnitus, 62 had little or no cerenum occlusion. Of seven subjects reporting tinnitus but no other auditory symptoms, none had greater than moderate cerenum occlusion. Of eight subjects reporting one or more of acute onset earache, fullness in the ears, diminished hearing, and tinnitus, seven had complete cerenum occlusion in the affected ear.
The findings suggest high grade cerumen occlusion frequently occurs in the ear affected by acute auditory symptoms. However, tinnitus alone has no apparent association with cerumen occlusion. It is possible that a significant number of acute onset auditory symptoms reported in whiplash patients have a benign cause.
*Department of Public Health Sciences, Alberta Centre for Injury Prevention and Research Departments of †Medicine ‡Rheumatic Diseases, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB ?Division of Outcomes and Population Health, Toronto Western Research Institute ¶Division of Epidemiology, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto #Faculty of Health Sciences and UOIT-CMCC Centre for the Study of Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation, University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT), Toronto, ON, Canada §Institute of Sport Science and Clinical Biomechanics, Faculty of Health, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark.
Coping is shown to affect outcomes in chronic pain patients; however, few studies have examined the role of coping in the course of recovery in whiplash-associated disorders (WAD). The purpose of this study was to determine the predictive value of coping style for 2 key aspects of WAD recovery, reductions in neck pain, and in disability.
A population-based prospective cohort study design was used to study 2986 adults with traffic-related WAD. Participants were assessed at baseline, 6 weeks, and 4, 8, and 12 months postinjury. Coping was measured at 6 weeks using the Pain Management Inventory, and neck pain recovery was assessed at each subsequent follow-up, using a 100 mm visual analogue scale (VAS). Disability was assessed at each follow-up using the Pain Disability Index (PDI). Pain recovery was defined as a VAS score of 0 to 10; disability recovery was defined as a PDI score of 0 to 4. Data analysis used multivariable Cox proportional hazards models.
Those using high versus low levels of passive coping at 6 weeks postinjury experienced 28% slower pain recovery and 43% slower disability recovery. Adjusted hazard rate ratios for pain recovery and disability recovery were 0.72 (95% CI, 0.59-0.88) and 0.57 (95% CI, 0.41-0.78), respectively. Active coping was not associated with recovery of neck pain or disability.
Passive coping style predicts neck pain and self-assessed disability recovery. It may be beneficial to assess and improve coping style early in WAD.
In pain conditions, active coping has been found to be associated with less severe depression, increased activity level, and less functional impairment. Studies indicate that Canadians have a high expectation for chronic pain following whiplash injury. Expectation of recovery has been shown to predict recovery in whiplash victims. The objective of this study was to compare both the expectations and the coping style for whiplash injury in injury-naive subjects. The Vanderbilt Pain Management Inventory was administered to university students. Subjects who had not yet experienced whiplash injury were given a vignette concerning a neck sprain (whiplash injury) in a motor vehicle collision and were asked to indicate how likely they were to have thoughts or behaviors indicated in the coping style questionnaire. Subjects also completed expectation questionnaires regarding whiplash injury. Subjects (57%) held an expectation of chronic pain after whiplash injury. The mean active coping style score was 28.5±6.6 (40 is the maximum score for active coping). The mean passive coping style score was 28.5±6.6 (50 is the maximum score for passive coping). Those with high passive coping styles had a higher mean expectation score. The correlation between passive coping style score and expectation score was 0.62, while the correlation between active coping style score and expectation was -0.48. Both expectations and coping styles may interact or be co-modifiers in the outcomes of whiplash injury in whiplash victims. Further studies of coping style as an etiologic factor in the chronic whiplash syndrome are needed.
Symptom expectation for whiplash injury has been shown to be low in countries with low rates of chronic whiplash when compared with countries like Canada, where chronic whiplash is common. The objective of the current study is to compare the frequency and nature of expected "whiplash" symptoms in Germany with that in Canada.
A symptom checklist was administered to two subject groups selected from local companies in Germany and Canada. Subjects were asked to imagine having suffered a neck sprain (whiplash injury) with no loss of consciousness in a motor vehicle collision and to check which, of a variety of symptoms, they would expect might arise from the injury. For symptoms they anticipated, they were asked to select the period of time they expected those symptoms to persist.
In both groups, the pattern of acute symptoms anticipated closely resembled the symptoms of acute whiplash victims, but 50% of Canadians also anticipated symptoms to last months or years, whereas few German subjects selected any symptoms as likely to persist.
In Germany, despite the documented occurrence of neck sprain symptoms in individuals following motor vehicle collisions, there is a very low rate of expectation of any sequelae from this injury. The current or previous aspects of society that underlie this remain uncertain. This lack of expectation of chronicity in Germany may, in part, determine the low prevalence of the chronic whiplash syndrome there. Further studies of symptom expectation as an etiologic factor in the chronic whiplash syndrome are needed.
Quasi-experimental before-and-after design with control group.
We evaluated a back pain mass media campaign's impact on population back pain beliefs, work disability, and health utilization outcomes.
Building on previous campaigns in Australia and Scotland, a back pain mass media campaign (Don't Take it Lying Down) was implemented in Alberta, Canada. A variety of media formats were used with radio ads predominating because of budget constraints.
Changes in back pain beliefs were studied using telephone surveys of random samples from intervention and control provinces before campaign onset and afterward. The Back Beliefs Questionnaire (BBQ) was used along with specific questions about the importance of staying active. For evaluating behaviors, we extracted data from governmental and workers' compensation databases between January 1999 and July 2008. Outcomes included indicators of number of visits to health care providers, use of diagnostic imaging, and compensation claim incidence and duration. Analysis included time series analysis and ANOVA testing of the interaction between province and time.
Belief surveys were conducted with a total of 8566 subjects over the 4-year period. Changes on BBQ scores were not statistically significant, however, the proportion of subjects agreeing with the statement, "If you have back pain you should try to stay active" increased in Alberta from 56% to 63% (P = 0.008) with no change in the control group (consistently approximately 60%). No meaningful or statistically significant effects were seen on the behavioral outcomes.
A Canadian media campaign appears to have had a small impact on public beliefs specifically related to campaign messaging to stay active, but no impact was observed on health utilization or work disability outcomes. Results are likely because of the modest level of awareness achieved by the campaign and future campaigns will likely require more extensive media coverage.
The objective of the present study is to compare the frequency and nature of expected 'whiplash' symptoms in Greece [a country where the chronic whiplash syndrome is rare or unknown] with that in Canada.
A symptom checklist was administered to 2 subject groups selected from local companies in Patras Greece, and Edmonton, Canada, respectively. Subjects were asked to imagine having suffered a neck sprain [whiplash injury] with no loss of consciousness in a motor vehicle collision, and to check which, of a variety of symptoms, they would expect might arise from the injury. For symptoms they anticipated, they were asked to select the period of time they expected those symptoms to persist.
In both the Greek and Edmontonian groups, the pattern of symptoms anticipated closely resembled the acute symptoms commonly reported by accident victims with acute neck sprain, but while up to 50% of Edmontonians also anticipated symptoms to last months or years, very few Greek subjects selected any symptoms as likely to persist.
In Greece, despite the documented occurrence of neck sprain symptoms in individuals following motor vehicle collisions, there is a very low rate of expectation of any sequelae from this injury. What current or previous aspects of society that underlie this remain uncertain. This lack of expectation of chronicity in Greece may, in part, determine the low prevalence of the chronic whiplash syndrome there. Further studies of symptom expectation as an etiologic factor in the chronic whiplash syndrome are needed.