Eight specific prognostic factors are associated with poor outcome from whiplash associated disorder (WAD). These findings are from an analysis of 2,185 patients with acute or subacute WAD presenting to 48 rehabilitation clinics in 6 Canadian provinces.

Specifically, the factors associated with a negative outcome are: 1) older age, 2) female gender, 3) increasing lag time between injury date and presentation for treatment, 4) initial pain location, 5) province of injury, 6) higher initial pain intensity, 7) lawyer involvement, and 8) at work at entry to the clinic.

“Researchers and clinicians should be aware of the potential for non-injury-related factors to delay recovery, and be aware of the interaction between the initial intensity of a patient’s pain and other covariates when confirming these results,” comment the study’s authors.

Spine – September 15, 2006;31:E759-E765.

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