26 Decreased range of neck movement is inconsistent in that some selleckchem studies have found it to be predictive and others have not.15 This is not to say that these factors should not be considered in the clinical assessment of patients with WAD, but they should not be used to gauge prognosis. Other factors commonly considered to predict outcome, such as those associated with compensation processes and accident-related factors, are not robust prognostic indicators.27 Similarly, demographic or social factors such as age, income and educational levels
demonstrate inconsistent prognostic capacity.2 and 15 Most prognostic studies of WAD have been phase 1 or exploratory studies, with few confirmatory or validation studies having been conducted.28 Validation studies are important in order
to confirm the prognostic capacity of identified selleck products factors in a new and independent cohort. A recent study undertook validation of a set of prognostic indicators including initial disability, cold hyperalgesia, age and post-traumatic stress symptoms. The results indicated that the set showed good accuracy (area under the curve 0.89, 95% CI 0.84 to 0.94) in discriminating patients with moderate/severe disability from patients with full recovery or residual milder symptoms at 12 months post-injury.16 These results are clinically useful, as physiotherapists usually aim to broadly identify patients likely to report persistent moderate to severe symptoms. Such a validation study is rare in this area of research and goes some way towards providing greater confidence for the use of these measures in the early assessment of whiplash injury. Based on the results of previous cohort studies, a clinical prediction rule to identify both chronic moderate/severe disability and full recovery at 12 months post-injury was recently developed. The results indicated that an initial Neck Disability
Index score of ≥40%, age ≥35 years, and a score of ≥6 on the hyperarousal subscale of the Posttraumatic Stress Diagnostic Scale29 could predict patients with moderate/severe disability at 12 months with fair sensitivity (43%, Sitaxentan 95% CI 31 to 55), good specificity (94%, 95% CI 89 to 96), and a positive predictive value of 71% (95% CI 55 to 84).30 It is also important to predict patients who will recover well as these patients will likely require less intensive intervention. Initial Neck Disability Index scores of ≤32% and age ≤35 years predicted full recovery at 12 months post-injury, with a positive predictive value of 71%.30 A third medium-risk group could either recover or develop chronic pain and disability (>32% on the Neck Disability Index, score >3 on the hyperarousal subscale). The hyperarousal subscale comprises five items that evaluate the frequency of symptoms including: having trouble falling asleep, feelings of irritability, difficulty concentrating, being overly alert, and being easily startled.