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.
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.
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).
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.