The association between neck pain intensity, physical functioning, depressive symptomatology and time-to-claim-closure after whiplash

Pierre Côté, Sheilah Hogg-Johnson, J. David Cassidy, Linda Carroll, John W. Frank

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Time-to-claim-closure is a common outcome in cohort studies of whiplash injuries. However, its relationship to health recovery is unknown. We investigated the association between neck pain, physical functioning, depressive symptomatology and time-to-claim-closure in a Saskatchewan cohort of 5398 whiplash claimants in 1994-1995. Participants were surveyed five times over 1 year. In 1995, the insurance system changed from tort to no-fault, eliminating compensation for pain and suffering. Under tort, a 10-point increase in pain reduced the claim-closure rate by 13-24% while a 10-point increase in physical functioning increased it by 17%. Depressive symptomatology reduced the claim-closure rate by 37%. Under no-fault, a 10-point increase in pain reduced the claim-closure rate by 18% while a 10-point increase in physical functioning increased it by 10-35%. The presence of depressive symptomatology reduced the claim-closure rate by 36%. The results suggests lower pain, better function and the absence of depressive symptoms are strongly associated with faster time-to-claim-closure and recovery after whiplash, independent of the insurance system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)275-286
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Clinical Epidemiology
Volume54
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2001

Keywords

  • Cohort studies
  • Depression
  • Outcome assessment
  • Pain, recovery of function
  • Whiplash injuries

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