Clinical practice guideline for the physiotherapy of patients with whiplash-associated disorders

G G M Scholten-Peeters, Geertruida E Bekkering, Arianne P Verhagen, Dawm van der Windt, K Lanser, Erik J M Hendriks, R A B Oostendorp

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Study Design. A clinical practice guideline.\nObjectives. To assist physiotherapists in decision making and to improve\nthe efficacy and uniformity of care for patients with\nwhiplash-associated disorders Grades I and II.\nSummary of Background Data. Whiplash constitutes a considerable problem\nin health care. Many interventions are used in physiotherapy practice,\ndespite increasing evidence for the use of active interventions. There\nis still no clinical practice guidelines for the management of patients\nwith whiplash-associated disorders.\nMethod of Development. A computerized literature search of Medline,\nCinahl, Cochrane Controlled Trial Register, Cochrane Database of\nSystematic Reviews, and the Database of the Dutch National Institute of\nAllied Health Professions was performed to search for information about\nthe diagnostic process and the therapeutic process in whiplash patients.\nWhen no evidence was available, consensus between experts was achieved\nto develop the clinical applicability and feasibility of the guideline,\nand their comments were used to improve it.\nRecommendations. The diagnostic process consists of systematic history\ntaking and a physical examination supported by reliable and valid\nassessment tools to document symptoms and functional disabilities. The\nprimary goals of treatment are a quick return to normal activities and\nthe prevention of chronicity. Active interventions such as education,\nexercise therapy, training of functions, and activities are recommended\naccording to the length of time since the accident and the rate of\nrecovery. The biopsychosocial model is used to address the consequences\nof whiplash trauma.\nConclusions. Scientific evidence for the diagnosis and physiotherapeutic\nmanagement of whiplash is sparse; therefore, consensus is used in\ndifferent parts of the guideline. The guideline reflects the current\nstate of knowledge of the effective and appropriate physiotherapy in\nwhiplash patients. More and better research is necessary to validate\nthis guideline in the future.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)412-422
Number of pages11
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2002


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