Information needs of patients with whiplash associated disorders: A Delphi study of patient beliefs
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Background: Whiplash associated disorders (WAD) result in significant personal and economic costs. Patient education and reassurance are recommended treatments for acute WAD but the information needs of patients have not been investigated. Objectives: To determine what information whiplash-injured patients believe is important to help recovery in the acute stage of injury. Design: A Delphi design survey series with three rounds. Method: Thirty-three participants who had sustained a whiplash injury within the last three years were invited to participate. Participants were asked to provide five statements, in response to an open-ended question, regarding what they believed was the most important information to provide to patients following a whiplash injury. Nineteen patients responded and 85 statements were collected and reviewed independently by two of the authors to remove duplicates. The importance of the remaining items was rated by the participants in the second survey round. Items rated by >50% of participants as important were included in the third survey round. To be deemed key information, >80% of participants had to rate an item as important in this final round. Results: Eighteen items met the criteria for key information. These points addressed four areas: assessment and treatment, recovery and symptoms, patient attitudes during treatment and relationships with health practitioners. Conclusions: The key information points endorsed by patients in this study may provide useful information to constitute a basis for reassurance and education provided to patients with WAD. The results also suggest that improved relationships between patients with whiplash and health practitioners is required.
Musculoskeletal Science and Practice
Clinical Sciences not elsewhere classified