Scientific monograph of the Quebec Task Force on Whiplash-Associated Disorders: redefining “whiplash” and its management.
- Spitzer WO, Skovron ML, Salmi LR, Cassidy JD, Duranceau J, Suissa S, Zeiss E
- Spine | 20 (8 Suppl) | April 1995
- To determine whether the conclusions and recommendations of the Quebec Task Force on Whiplash-associated Disorders regarding the natural history and epidemiology of whiplash injuries are valid.
People who received compensation secondary to an automobile accident related cervical sprain in Quebec Province in 1987 were studied for factors associated with the length of time to return back to activities, recurrence rates of neck complaints, and costs to the Quebec Automobile Insurance Society.
During that year, 4757 individuals received compensation. 1743 claims did not have police documentation of the collision. These claims were not included in the calculations regarding collision related factors related to whiplash. Most of the claims did have data regarding age, sex, marital status, employment status, wages, and number of dependents.
The findings of the study showed female gender, older age, married/cohabitation status, and greater number of dependents, are factors associated with longer time of absence from activities from whiplash.
A rear end collision and having one or more dependents are factors associated with higher rates of recurrence or relapse.
70% of compensation was for income replacement and 30% was for medical care not covered by personal health insurance.
The 12.5% of the population that was receiving compensation after 6 months from the accident accounted for 46% of the total payout. For patients with multiple injuries besides whiplash accounted for 60.4% of the costs.
A small population was responsible for a large portion of the financial burden to the Quebec Automobile Insurance Society.
The study registered a 13/20 on our scoring system. As it was a large case series and not a randomized prospective study, it could not fulfill the necessary criterion for an excellent score.
This Quebec Study spawned many follow up studies. Studies continue attempt identification of factors that can predict prolonged recovery or persistence of complaints related to Automobile related neck complaints. As in the Quebec study, follow-up studies indicate factors not specifically related to the physic and health status are associated with absence from prior activities, recurrence of neck pain, and costs.
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