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Rehabil Psychol. 2013 Nov;58(4):361-368. doi: 10.1037/a0034267. Epub 2013 Sep 16.

Pain-related fear of movement and catastrophizing in whiplash-associated disorders.

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PSiNET Research Group, Internet Interdisciplinary Institute, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya.
Unit for the Study and Treatment of Pain, ALGOS, Department of Psychology, Research Center for Behavior Assessment, Institut d'Investigació Sanitària Pere Virgili, Universitat Rovira i Virgili.
IWK Health Centre.



The main aim of this study was to test whether pain-related fear of movement and catastrophizing were predictors of pain intensity and disability 6 months after a whiplash injury. The mediator role of fear of movement was also explored. A sample of 147 whiplash patients with neck pain for less than 3 months participated in the first assessment, and 123 of them were interviewed again at a 6-month follow-up. Multiple regression analyses were performed.


Fear of movement, initial pain intensity and initial disability were independent predictors of disability at the 6-month follow-up. Initial pain intensity and initial pain duration were significant predictors of pain intensity at 6 months. Fear of movement was found not to be a mediator in either of the 2 outcomes at the 6-month follow-up.


These findings suggest that interventions designed to reduce the impact of injury severity and pain-related fear of movement after a motor vehicle accident may be relevant for preventing long-lasting symptoms.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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