Assessing fear-avoidance beliefs in patients with whiplash-associated disorders: A comparison of 2 measures
Objectives: To examine the development of fear avoidance behaviours following whiplash injury using two different measures of fear avoidance, the Pictorial Fear of Activities Scale-Cervical (PFActS-C), and the Tampa Scale of Kinesiophobia (TSK-17). Secondarily we assessed the capacity of these measures to predict recovery status at long term follow up and initial cervical range of movement (ROM). Methods: Ninety-eight patients with acute WAD were recruited and completed measures of pain and disability (NDI), fear avoidance beliefs and cervical ROM at baseline (<4 weeks), 3 and 6 months post injury. Participants were grouped based on NDI scores at 6 months follow up as either recovered (NDI <10), mild (NDI 10-28) or moderate/severe (NDI=30). Results: Repeated measures, linear mixed model analysis showed a significant main effect for time and group for both TSK-17 and PFActS-C scores (P=0.001). On both measures the moderate/severe group scored significantly higher than the mild and recovered groups. TSK-17 scores, age and initial pain intensity at baseline significantly predicted NDI scores at 6 months (P=0.002). PFActS-C scores, age and initial pain intensity at baseline significantly predicted initial cervical extension and rotation ROM (P=0.001). Discussion: Fear avoidance beliefs and behaviours develop quickly following whiplash injury and influence both the initial physical presentation and long term outcome of patients with WAD. The PFActS-C may provide a measure of fear of movement which is more specific to the cervical spine in patients with WAD in comparison to the TSK-17.
Clinical Journal of Pain
Clinical Sciences not elsewhere classified