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Exp Aging Res. 2012;38(3):330-43. doi: 10.1080/0361073X.2012.672139.

Pain and interference of pain with function and mood in elderly adults involved in a motor vehicle collision: a pilot study.

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  • 1Department of Emergency Medicine, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7594, USA. tplattsm@med.unc.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND/STUDY CONTEXT: Musculoskeletal pain after motor vehicle collision is a substantial public health problem. The number of elderly individuals experiencing motor vehicle collision is increasing. The authors conducted analyses of data collected as part of a prospective observational study of outcomes after motor vehicle collision to estimates rates of persistent pain, pain interference, and change in physical function in patients 65 or older.

METHODS:

Adults presenting to one of four emergency departments following motor vehicle collision without severe or life-threatening injury were recruited. Outcomes were assessed using 1-month follow-up surveys.

RESULTS:

The frequencies of persistent moderate or severe pain resulting from the motor vehicle collision were similar among elderly and nonelderly participants, both in the neck region (27% vs. 30%) and in any region (60% vs. 56%). For both elderly and nonelderly patients, persistent pain was associated with high levels of interference with physical activity and mood.

CONCLUSION:

Further studies of this vulnerable and rapidly increasing injury population are needed.

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