A description of neck motor performance, neck pain, fatigue, and mental effort while driving in a sample with chronic whiplash-associated disorders

Takasaki, Hiroshi, Treleaven, Julia, Johnston, Venerina, van den Hoorn, Wolbert, Rakotonirainy, Andry, & Jull, Gwendolen (2014) A description of neck motor performance, neck pain, fatigue, and mental effort while driving in a sample with chronic whiplash-associated disorders. American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 93(8), pp. 665-674.

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Objective: Individuals with chronic whiplash-associated disorders (WADs) often note driving as a difficult task. This study’s aims were to (1) compare, while driving, neck motor performance, mental effort, and fatigue in individuals with chronic WAD against healthy controls and (2) investigate the relationships of these variables and neck pain to self-reported driving difficulty in the WAD group.

Design: This study involved 14 participants in each group (WAD and control). Measures included self-reported driving difficulty and measures of neck pain intensity, overall fatigue, mental effort, and neck motor performance (head rotation and upper trapezius activity) while driving a simulator.

Results: The WAD group had greater absolute path of head rotation in a simulated city area and used greater mental effort (P = 0.04), but there were no differences in other measures while driving compared with the controls (all P Q 0.05). Self-reported driving difficulty correlated moderately with neck pain intensity, fatigue level, and maximum velocity of head rotation while driving in the WAD group (all P G 0.05).

Conclusions: Individuals with chronic WAD do not seem to have impaired neck motor performance while driving yet use greater mental effort. Neck pain, fatigue, and maximum head rotation velocity could be potential contributors to self-reported driving difficulty in this group.

Impact and interest:

2 citations in Scopus
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3 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 80016
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: automobile driving, head movements, muscle relaxation, whiplash injuries
DOI: 10.1097/PHM.0000000000000087
ISSN: 0894-9115
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified (111799)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety - Qld (CARRS-Q)
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
Deposited On: 14 Jan 2015 04:17
Last Modified: 14 Jan 2015 21:58

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