Factors Influencing Neck Pain Intensity in Whiplash-associated Disorders in Sweden

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ObjectivesTo investigate if sociodemographic and economic factors, preinjury health status, and collision factors are associated with initial neck pain intensity in whiplash-associated disorders (WAD) in Sweden. The factors of interest were demographic and socioeconomic factors, prior health, and collision factors.MethodsA cohort study of car occupants, insured by either of 2 Swedish traffic insurers, age 18 to 74 years, who filed an injury claim and reported WAD after a motor vehicle collision (n=1187) were approached with mailed questionnaires. These contained questions about prior health, details about the collision, and symptoms after the collision. Neck pain intensity was measured on a visual analog scale and categorized into mild pain (0 to 30 mm), moderate pain (31 to 54 mm), and severe pain (55 to 100 mm).ResultsLow educational level [odds ratio (OR) 2.8; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.8-4.5], being sole adult in the family (OR 1.6; 95%CI 1.1-2.2), prior neck pain (OR 2.9; 95%CI 1.4-6.2), prior headache (OR 2.2; 95%CI 0.7-6.9), prior poor general health (OR 2.6; 95%CI 1.4-4.8), and exposure to rollover collision (OR 1.9; 95%CI 1.0-3.8) were all associated with severe initial neck pain intensity. Most of these factors were also associated with moderate pain intensity.DiscussionThis study confirms results from a previous study that sociodemographic and economic status, preinjury health status, and collision-related factors are associated with participants' rating of initial neck pain intensity in WAD. The findings are of importance for interpreting and understanding the underlying factors of pain rating.

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