BACKGROUND: Classification of patients with chronic whiplash associated disorders (WAD) into homogenous subgroups is an important objective in order to tailor interventions and to control for subgroup differences when evaluating treatment outcome. AIMS: The aims of this study were to investigate if it was possible to replicate and describe the three cluster solution and profiles found in other pain groups and describe cluster profiles based on self-reported Multidimensional Pain Inventory-scores for patients with WAD three months after the injury, describe characteristics of the clusters in relation to disability, self-efficacy and coping at the same point in time and to validate the cluster solution by comparing clusters in disability, self-efficacy and coping over time. METHODS: Ninety-one WAD-patients three months after the accident took part in the study. The measures used were the Multidimensional Pain Inventory-Swedish version (MPI-S), The Self-Efficacy Scale, The Coping Strategies Questionnaire and The Pain Disability Index. Cluster analysis was conducted for the total sample MPI-S subscale scores. RESULTS: The adaptive copers cluster represented 42% of the sample, dysfunctional 34% of the sample, and interpersonally distressed 24% of the sample. The external validation of cluster solution showed that there were several significant differences between clusters in self-efficacy, disability and coping measures. There was also a significant interaction effect (clusterxtime) in disability (PDI). Patients in dysfunctional cluster reported a decreased disability over time. CONCLUSIONS: These results support the presence of different subgroups among patients with whiplash associated disorders. This classification can be seen as a complement to a classification based on medical condition.
MEDICIN OCH HÄLSOVETENSKAP -- Hälsovetenskaper -- Sjukgymnastik (hsv//swe)
MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES -- Health Sciences -- Physiotherapy (hsv//eng)