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Support your Clients following a Whiplash Injury

14 July 2011

Support your Clients following a Whiplash Injury

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An Update on Whiplash

A recent prospective study of 155 people in Queensland, Australia, found 3 different patterns of predictive recovery following whiplash injury (Sterling et al, 2010*).

The 45% of people with initial milder pain & disability made a full recovery.

The 39% of people with initial moderate pain & disability recovered to mild levels of pain & disability.

The 16% of people with initial severe pain & disability persisted with moderate to severe levels & required rehabilitative interventions.

40% of people showed psychological resilience to their injury.

43% of people with initial moderate PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) symptoms reduced to sub-clinical levels of PTSD by 3 months.

17% continued to experience moderate to severe symptoms for 12 months requiring psychological intervention to prevent on-going symptoms.

Australia has a fault based insurance system where those deemed at fault do not receive compensation.  People with active claims and mild to moderate symptoms reported ongoing symptoms at moderate levels.

There was NO relationship between active claims and those with more severe symptoms.

Australia has a fault based insurance system where those deemed at fault do not receive compensation.  People with active claims and mild to moderate symptoms reported ongoing symptoms at moderate levels.

There was NO relationship between active claims and those with more severe symptoms.

Thoughts:

Those with initial moderate symptoms may benefit from brief interventions to mitigate against the continuation of symptoms beyond three months and facilitate a speedy return to functional activity at home, at work and in leisure.

Those with severe symptoms will require pain management and psychological interventions to support rehabilitation at home, at work and in leisure.