Laypersons’ expectations of recovery and beliefs about whiplash injury: A cross-cultural comparison between Australians and Singaporeans
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Background: Beliefs and expectations are thought to in?uence outcome following whiplash injury. Studies have proposed a link between rates of chronic whiplash and laypersons' expectations about outcome following a motor vehicle accident. The prevalence of chronic whiplash is relatively high in Australia and apparently low in Singapore. This study's objectives were to compare laypersons' beliefs and expectations of recovery of whiplash injury in Brisbane and Singapore and to assess the effect of demographic factors on whiplash beliefs. Methods: A cross-sectional study using online surveys was conducted on adult Internet users in Brisbane (Australia) and Singapore. The 14-item whiplash beliefs questionnaire (WBQ) was used to evaluate whiplash beliefs. Two additional items assessed expectations of recovery. Individual items of WBQ, WBQ score and expectations of recovery were analysed. Strati?ed analysis was performed to adjust for sampling bias due to quota sampling. Results: A total of 402 participants from Singapore and 411 participants from Brisbane, Australia, completed the survey. While participants from Singapore demonstrated slightly more negative whiplash beliefs than participants from Brisbane [t(811) = -5.72; p < 0.0001], participants from both samples were similar in their expectations of quick recovery and return to normal activities following whiplash injury. Only gender had a signi?cant effect on whiplash beliefs [estimated marginal means of WBQ score for men = 21.5; standard error (SE) = 0.20; women = 22.5; SE = 0.20; F(1,810) = 11.2; p = 0.001]. Conclusions: Laypersons' expectations of recovery and beliefs about whiplash injury in Brisbane and Singapore were generally similar and mostly positive. Our results demonstrate that cultural differences re?ected by laypersons' beliefs may not re?ect the differences in prevalence of chronic whiplash between countries.
European Journal of Pain