Physiotherapist-delivered stress inoculation training integrated with exercise versus physiotherapy exercise alone for acute whiplash-associated disorder (StressModex): a randomised controlled trial of a combined psychological/physical intervention

Michele Sterling*, Rob Smeets, Gerben Keijzers, Jacelle Warren, Justin Kenardy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Abstract

Objective There are few effective treatments for acute whiplash-associated disorders (WAD). Early symptoms of postinjury stress predict poor recovery. This randomised controlled trial (StressModex) investigated whether physiotherapist-led stress inoculation training integrated with exercise is more effective than exercise alone for people with acute WAD.

Methods 108 participants (

Results The combined stress inoculation training and exercise intervention was more effective than exercise alone for the primary outcome of pain-related disability at all follow-up points. At 6 weeks, the treatment effect on the 0-100 Neck Disability Index was (mean difference)-10 (95% CI -15.5 to -4.48), at 6 months was-7.8 (95% CI -13.8 to -1.8) and at 12 months was -10.1 (95% CI -16.3 to -4.0). A significant benefit of the stress inoculation and exercise intervention over exercise alone was also found for some secondary outcomes.

Conclusion A physiotherapist-led intervention of stress inoculation training and exercise resulted in clinically relevant improvements in disability compared with exercise alone-the most commonly recommended treatment for acute WAD. This contributes to the case for physiotherapists to deliver an early psychological intervention to patients with acute WAD who are otherwise at high risk of a poor outcome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1240-1247
Number of pages9
JournalBritish Journal of Sports Medicine
Volume53
Issue number19
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019

Keywords

  • LOW-BACK-PAIN
  • SELF-EFFICACY QUESTIONNAIRE
  • CLINICAL-PREDICTION RULE
  • NECK DISABILITY INDEX
  • MODERATE/SEVERE DISABILITY
  • PSYCHOMETRIC PROPERTIES
  • FULL RECOVERY
  • RESPONSIVENESS
  • MANAGEMENT
  • SYMPTOMS

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