Objectives: In low back pain, clinical studies suggest that kinesiophobia (fear of movement/(re)injury) is important in the etiology of chronic symptoms. In this prospective cohort study, the predictive role of kinesiophobia in the development of late whiplash syndrome was examined.
Methods: Victims of car collisions with neck symptoms who initiated compensation claim procedures with a Dutch insurance company were sent a questionnaire containing symptom-related questions and the Tampa Scale of Kinesiophobia (TSK-DV). Follow-up questionnaires were administered 6 and 12 months after the collision. Survival analysis was used to study the relationship between the duration of neck symptoms and explanatory variables.
Results: Of the 889 questionnaires sent, 590 (66%) were returned and 367 used for analysis. The estimated percentage of subjects with neck symptoms persisting 1 year after the collision was 47% (SE 2.7%). In a regression model without symptom-related variables, kinesiophobia was found to be related to a longer duration of neck symptoms (P=0.001). However, when symptom-related information was entered into the model, the effect of kinesiophobia did not reach statistical significance (P=0.089).
Conclusions: Although a higher score on the TSK-DV was found to be associated with a longer duration of neck symptoms, information on early kinesiophobia was not found to improve the ability to predict the duration of neck symptoms after motor vehicle collisions.