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Development of Late Whiplash Syndrome

Posted on: 04/18/2008
There are likely many factors that might contribute to the development of late whiplash syndrome, LWS. Age, gender, initial pain intensity, collision characteristics, and psychological factors have all been studied. The authors chose to evaluate available literature on the potential role of psychological aspects in the development of LWS.

The authors reviewed available literature to assess the role of psychological factors in the development of LWS. Twenty-five articles were included. Fourteen of the articles were rated as low quality, and 11 were rated as adequate quality. Data on 21 psychological risk factors were included.

Some of the psychological risk factors included coping, presence of previous psychological problems, personality traits, distress, catastrophising, fear-avoidance, self-efficacy, wellbeing, and psychosocial work factors.

The authors concluded that no association was found, or there was limited or inconclusive evidence to support the role of psychological factors in the development of LWS. They feel that there is a great need for rigorous and well-designed research in this area.

E. Williamson, et al. A Systematic Literature Review of Psychological Factors and the Development of Late Whiplash Syndrome. PAIN. 2008.Vol. 135. Pp. 20-30.

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