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Comparison of Motor Vehicle Accident (MVA) Survivors and Non-MVA Pain Patients Attending an Interdisciplinary Pain Management Program

Abstract

Soft tissue injuries (STI) arising from motor vehicle accidents (MVA) are significant cause of chronic pain, disability, and cost in patients. This study compares demographics and outcomes of MVA and non-MVA patients attending a community-based interdisciplinary pain management program funded by the Ontario Ministry of Health. This descriptive, cross-sectional practice-based retrospective study was conducted on 121 consecutive patients, screened for motivation and commitment, and admitted to an intense 3-month pain management program during 2016–2018 (MVA n = 31 and non-MVA n = 90). Data collected included: (a) demographics; (b) pain characteristics; (c) physical and emotional health status obtained by validated instruments, and (d) social outcomes regarding work or school obtained via retrospective chart review. Means of pre- and post-program variables (baseline and upon program exit) were compared to assess effectiveness of treatment in both groups. At baseline, the MVA group was more likely to have a lawyer; included more women; had shorter duration of pain complaints; and higher scores in Kinesiophobia (TSK), anxiety (GAD) and depression (CES-D). Upon program exit, MVA patients had improved by 29–60% and non-MVA patients by 32–57% in pain catastrophizing, self-efficacy, pain interference and severity scores, kinesiophobia, anxiety and depression, while both groups improved substantially in their social health status 6 and/or 12 months after program exit. Despite the presence of litigation, well-selected MVA patients attending a community-based interdisciplinary pain management program can obtain substantial improvement across several domains, almost equal to that obtained by non-MVA patients with chronic pain.

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All authors discussed the consequences and implications and commented on the manuscript at all stages. All authors have approved the manuscript, and agree with its submission to Psychology and Injury Law.

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Correspondence to S. F. Lakha.

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The study was reviewed and approved by the University of Toronto Human Ethics Research Committee (Protocol ##36,903). Statement included in the method section. All patients had freely given informed consent to participate in the study. Informed consent statement included in the method section.

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Written informed consent for publication of their clinical details was obtained from the patients.

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The authors declare no competing interests.

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Lakha, S.F., Hapidou, E.G., Robinson, J. et al. Comparison of Motor Vehicle Accident (MVA) Survivors and Non-MVA Pain Patients Attending an Interdisciplinary Pain Management Program. Psychol. Inj. and Law (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12207-021-09440-y

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Keywords

  • Motor Vehicle Accident (MVA)
  • Soft Tissue Injury (STI)
  • Pain
  • Litigation
  • Outcome measures
  • Prognosis