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Can Kinesiophobia Predict the Duration of Neck Symptoms in Acute Whiplash?

Buitenhuis, Jan MD*; Jaspers, Jan P.C. PhD; Fidler, Vaclav PhD

doi: 10.1097/01.ajp.0000173180.54261.0a
Original Articles
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Objectives In low back pain, clinical studies suggest that kinesiophobia (fear of movement/(re)injury) is important in the etiology of chronic symptoms. In this prospective cohort study, the predictive role of kinesiophobia in the development of late whiplash syndrome was examined.

Methods Victims of car collisions with neck symptoms who initiated compensation claim procedures with a Dutch insurance company were sent a questionnaire containing symptom-related questions and the Tampa Scale of Kinesiophobia (TSK-DV). Follow-up questionnaires were administered 6 and 12 months after the collision. Survival analysis was used to study the relationship between the duration of neck symptoms and explanatory variables.

Results Of the 889 questionnaires sent, 590 (66%) were returned and 367 used for analysis. The estimated percentage of subjects with neck symptoms persisting 1 year after the collision was 47% (SE 2.7%). In a regression model without symptom-related variables, kinesiophobia was found to be related to a longer duration of neck symptoms (P=0.001). However, when symptom-related information was entered into the model, the effect of kinesiophobia did not reach statistical significance (P=0.089).

Conclusions Although a higher score on the TSK-DV was found to be associated with a longer duration of neck symptoms, information on early kinesiophobia was not found to improve the ability to predict the duration of neck symptoms after motor vehicle collisions.

*Univé Insurance, Medical Department, Assen, The Netherlands, and the Department of Social Medicine, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands

Department of Medical Psychology, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands

Department of Epidemiology and Bioinformatics, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands

Reprints: J. Buitenhuis, Unive Insurancé, Medical Department, PO Box 15, 9400 AA Assen, The Netherlands (e-mail: buitenhuisj@unive.nl).

Received for publication May 14, 2004; revised January 24, 2005; accepted May 23, 2005

© 2006 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.