The Role of Educational and Learning Approaches in Rehabilitation of Whiplash-Associated Disorders in Lessening the Transition to Chronicity

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Study Design.

The study design was descriptive.


The aim of this chapter was to illustrate and discuss educational and learning perspectives in the rehabilitation of patients with acute whiplash-associated disorders (WAD).

Summary of Background Data.

WAD is a major problem for the individual and the society. Several treatment options have been studied without giving convincing results for lessening the transition to chronicity. Current management of acute WAD include among other things advice of exercise and educational activities.


A literature search on the PubMed database was conducted with additional topic discussions with the research colleagues at a symposium. These resulted the present state-of-the-art review.


There are several possible cognitive factors and behavioral learning processes such as self-efficacy, fear of movement and (re)injury, and catastrophizing that are important to focus on in decreasing acute WAD to becoming a chronic condition. Learning based on behavioral medicine approach in physiotherapy framework has gained evidence in other musculoskeletal pain conditions.


Exercise, education, and learning with a behavioral medicine approach should be focused on in the future studies of acute WAD management.

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