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Active involvement and intervention in patients exposed to whiplash trauma in automobile crashes reduces costs: a randomized, controlled clinical trial and health economic evaluation.

Journal article
Authors Mark Rosenfeld
Aris Seferiadis
Ronny K Gunnarsson
Published in Spine
Volume 31
Issue 16
Pages 1799-804
ISSN 1528-1159
Publication year 2006
Published at Institute of Medicine, School of Public Health and Community Medicine
Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Audiology, Logopedics, Occupational Therapy & Physiotherapy
Pages 1799-804
Language en
Keywords Accidents, Traffic, Cost of Illness, Early Ambulation, Health Care Costs, Humans, Patient Participation, Physical Therapy Modalities, Retrospective Studies, Self Care, Sick Leave, Single-Blind Method, Whiplash Injuries, therapy
Subject categories Orthopedics, Physiotherapy, Family Medicine


STUDY DESIGN: To examine and compare the costs and consequences in a partial economic evaluation of two competing interventions in patients exposed to whiplash trauma in automobile crashes. The interventions were an active involvement and intervention using early mobilization and a standard intervention of rest, recommended short-term immobilization in a cervical collar and a cautious, gradual self-exercise program according to a leaflet. The study was randomized and controlled. OBJECTIVES: The aim of the study was to compare the costs of an active involvement and intervention versus a standard intervention and to relate them to the clinical benefits in patients exposed to whiplash trauma in automobile crashes to facilitate decision-making regarding intervention and resource allocation. SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA: There is very little known about the health economic aspects of various interventions in the target treatment group of patients. METHODS: Based on a prospective, randomized, clinical trial, data on clinical effectiveness and resources used for the active involvement and intervention and standard intervention were collected for a comparative analysis of the costs related to physical therapy treatment and sick leave. A cost-consequence analysis consisting of a modified cost-effectiveness analysis was used. RESULTS: The costs were significantly lower after 6 and 36 months with an active involvement and intervention as compared with the standard intervention. The active involvement and intervention were significantly superior in reducing experienced pain and reducing sick leave. CONCLUSIONS: For patients exposed to whiplash trauma in a motor vehicle collision, an active involvement and intervention were both less costly and more effective than a standard intervention.

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