A prospective cohort study of the outcome of acute whiplash injury in Greece

Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2000 Jan-Feb;18(1):67-70.


Objective: An earlier pilot study suggested that the late whiplash syndrome is uncommon in Greece. The purpose of the present study is to extend the evaluation to a larger sample, and include the prevalence of specific symptoms in the evaluation.

Methods: In a prospective, cohort study, a total of 180 accident victims were consecutively recruited following Emergency ward presentation. A standard questionnaire asked about neck pain, headache, shoulder pain, limb numbness or pain, and dizziness. Accident victims were followed for 6 months.

Results: In the initial 4 weeks after the accident, accident victims reported neck pain, headache, shoulder pain, arm numbness or pain, and dizziness, but at 4 weeks more than 90% had recovered from these, the remainder of the subjects having minor symptoms (not requiring therapy), and returning to their pre-accident state of health (which included minor symptoms). There were no cases of chronic disability.

Conclusion: In Greece, symptoms after an acute whiplash injury are self-limiting, brief, and do not appear to evolve into the so-called late whiplash syndrome.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Arm / physiopathology
  • Cohort Studies
  • Dizziness / etiology
  • Female
  • Greece
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neck / physiopathology
  • Pain / physiopathology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sensation Disorders / etiology
  • Shoulder / physiopathology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Whiplash Injuries / complications
  • Whiplash Injuries / physiopathology*