New research suggests that the more expensive treatment for whiplash injuries is not necessarily better than standard treatment for these injuries. Whiplash injuries are injuries to the neck that car accident lawyers often find in victims who have been in a rear ender accident. According to the study which was conducted by British researchers, and involved more than 3,000 patients who had suffered whiplash, the rate of recovery when a patient is treated using the more standard treatment, is more or less the same as when he is treated with the pricier treatment.
The normal standard care that was used to treat these patients involved advice to manage pain. The patients were given advice sheets with inconsistent instructions. Further, usual care did not involve any set expectations for the patient’s recovery.
In contrast, active management of the patient’s injuries included pain control strategies as well as the use of positive messages to enhance the patient’s rate of recovery. The patient was also given very specific advice about the expected recovery rate, and was advised to return to his normal activities as quickly as possible.
The researchers at the University of Warwick found that there was very little difference in patients recovery levels when the usual standard treatment was used, and when the more advanced expensive treatment was used.
Approximately 600 patients, who suffered from whiplash, were given a chance to receive advice from a physiotherapist, and receive 6 physiotherapy sessions. The patients who had access to the physiotherapy sessions did show a slightly higher rate of recovery at 4 months into the program. However, at 8 to 12 months, the rate of progress was more or less the same.
Overall, the researchers are concluding that investing in active management, and other more expensive efforts to treat whiplash, do not necessarily lead to a speedier rate of recovery for the patient. The physiotherapy sessions seemed to result in some amount of benefit to the patient, but overall, the strategies were not cost-effective.
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