A population study of anxiety and depression among persons who report whiplash traumas

J Psychosom Res. 2002 Sep;53(3):831-35. doi: 10.1016/s0022-3999(02)00323-9.


The purpose of this study was to explore whether self-reported whiplash traumas were associated with increased prevalence of anxiety disorder and depression. A cross-sectional design (N = 61,110) based on data from the health study (HUNT-II) was used. Anxiety and depression were measured with the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). A positive association was found between whiplash traumas and anxiety disorder and depression in traumas that happened more than 2 years ago, but not in more recent whiplash traumas. Some of the association between whiplash traumas and anxiety and depression is due to neck pain and headache. Two different explanations, the "memory bias" and the "attribution" hypothesis, are discussed as explanations of these results.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anxiety Disorders / complications
  • Anxiety Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Depressive Disorder / complications
  • Depressive Disorder / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Headache / complications
  • Headache / psychology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neck Pain / complications
  • Neck Pain / psychology
  • Prevalence
  • Whiplash Injuries / psychology*