Oliver Pieske, Toralf Weinhold, Jochen Buck, Stefan Piltz

October 2010, Volume 19, Issue 10, pp 1627 - 1634 Original Article Read Full Article 10.1007/s00586-010-1379-9

First Online: 11 April 2010

The aim of the prospective cohort study was to investigate the outcome of acute whiplash injury first treated either by junior doctors (JD) [≤3 postgraduate years (PGY)] or more experienced doctors (MED) (>3 PGY). At baseline, crash-related data and health parameters including the SF36 were evaluated in whiplash patients (WP), who fulfilled criteria for whiplash-associated disorders grade I–II and presented up to 48 h after motor vehicle accident to our Emergency Department. 81 WP were recruited and treated by either one of 14 JD (35 WP) or one of 22 MED (46 WP). The follow-up examination included the course of pain intensity [numeric rating scale (NRS) 0–10] by the use of a 28 days-pain-diary and the incidence of symptoms (standardized-telephone-interview at 1, 3, and 6 months post trauma) in terms of neck pain NRS > 2, analgesic medication, work-off, and utilization of further medical services as well as SF36 evaluated at the end of the study. Although the entry population seemed similar, all outcome parameters were comparable between the JD- and MED-group (p > 0.05). Therefore, we conclude that seniority of the first-treating physician does not influence the outcome of acute whiplash injury.

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