Therapy Recommendation “Act as Usual” in Patients with Whiplash Injuries QTF I°

  •  Christoph Dehner    
  •  Michael Kraus    
  •  Hendrik Schöll    
  •  Florian Schneider    
  •  Peter Richter    
  •  Michael Kramer    


Up to now no therapy study has used the classification system of the Quebec Task Force (QTF) to differentiate between patients with (QTF II°) and without functional disorders (QTF I°). This differentiation seems meaningful, as this difference may be relevant for the correct treatment planning. In this context the effect of the therapy recommendation “act as usual” has been evaluated in a homogeneous patient collective with whiplash injuries QTF I°.

470 patients with acute whiplash injuries had been catched in this study and classified according to the QTF. 359 patients (76.4%) with QTF I° injuries could be identified. Out of that 162 patients were enrolled to the study and received the therapy recommendation “act as usual” and the adapted pain treatment with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID). After six months the outcome was evaluated by phone.

After injury the median pain score assessed by a visual analogue scale (VAS) was 5.4 (min = 3.3; max = 8.5). After six months 5 of the 162 patients complained intermittent pain symptoms (VAS values < 2). This is consistent with a chronification rate of 3.1%. After injury, the median pain disability index (PDI) was 3.9 (min = 1.9; max = 7.7). After six months 3 of the 162 patients stated persisting disability during sporting and physical activities (VAS values < 1).

The therapy recommendation “act as usual” in combination with an adapted pain treatment is sufficient. Usually patients with whiplash injuries QTF I° do not need physical therapy. An escalation of therapy measures should be reserved to patients with complicated healing processes.

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