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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.


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.


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.


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.


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

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