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Chronic pain and head injury following motor vehicle collisions: a double whammy or different sides of a coin

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Chronic pain and head injury are common and burdensome sequelae of motor vehicle collisions. The aim of this study was to compare differences in physical injury and functional impairment, psychological distress and pain coping in head injured and non-head injured chronic pain persons subsequent to motor vehicle collisions. Two groups of 54 participants matched in terms of age, gender, and years of formal education underwent a psychological-legal assessment. As part of the assessment, participants completed the Multidimensional Pain Inventory, Sickness Impact Profile, Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2, and Coping Strategies Questionnaires. Select scales from questionnaires were combined and underwent multivariate analyses of covariance to test the effects of pain sites at the time of psychological-legal assessment (low, high) and head injury status (head injured and non-head injured chronic pain). Overall, some differences between the two groups were noted but the results did not strongly support the hypothesis that head injured chronic pain participants have a greater physical or psychological burden than non-head injured chronic pain participants. The results suggest the import of assessing and managing pain sites and pain severity in persons injured in motor vehicle collisions.
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Keywords: Chronic pain; injury; pain coping; psychological distress

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: London Health Sciences Centre, London, Ontario 2: University of Nevada, Reno 3: Mockingbird Workskills, Dallas, Texas

Publication date: March 1, 2007

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