Risk Factors for Persistent Problems Following Whiplash Injury: Results of a Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.

Walton DM, Pretty J, Macdermid JC, Teasell RW.

This review aimed to identify risk factors for persistent problems following whiplash injury.  9 factors were found to be significant predictors based on the odds ratio and confidence limits: no postsecondary education, female gender, history of previous neck pain,baseline neck pain intensity greater than 55/100, presence of neck pain at baseline, presence of headache at baseline, catastrophizing, WAD grade 2 or 3, and no seat belt in use at time of collision. Neck pain intensity, WAD grade, headache, and no postsecondary education were robust to publication bias.

Using a rigorous process for the identification and extraction of data from a homogenous subset of the prognostic WAD literature, this study identifed several factors for which information is easy to collect clinically and could provide clinicians with a good sense of prognosis following whiplash injury.

J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2009 May;39(5):334-50.

Link to abstract