A contemporary neuroscience approach compared to biomedically focused education combined with symptom-contingent exercise therapy in people with chronic whiplash associated disorders: a randomized controlled trial protocol

Iris Coppieters, Ward Willaert, Dorine Lenoir, Mira Meeus, Barbara Cagnie, Kelly Ickmans, Anneleen Malfliet, Lieven Danneels, Brenda De Petter, Jo Nijs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

BACKGROUND: To address the need for a better treatment of chronic whiplash associated disorders (WAD), a contemporary neuroscience approach can be proposed.

OBJECTIVE: To examine the effectiveness of a contemporary neuroscience approach, comprising pain neuroscience education, stress management, and cognition-targeted exercise therapy versus conventional physical therapy for reducing disability (primary outcome measure) and improving quality of life and reducing pain, central sensitization, and psychological problems (secondary outcome measures) in people with chronic WAD.

METHODS: The study is a multi-center, two-arm randomized, controlled trial with 1-year follow-up and will be performed in two university-based and one regional hospital. People with chronic WAD (n=120) will be recruited. The experimental group will receive pain neuroscience education followed by cognition-targeted exercise therapy, and stress management. The control group will receive biomedically focused education followed by graded and active exercise therapy focusing on muscle endurance, strength, and flexibility, and ergonomic principles. The treatment will have a duration of 16 weeks. Functional status (Neck Disability Index) is the primary outcome measure. Secondary outcome measures include quality of life, pain, central sensitization, and psychological and socio-economic factors. In addition, electroencephalography will measure brain activity at rest and during a conditioned pain modulation paradigm. Assessments will take place at baseline, immediately post-treatment and at 6 and 12 months follow-up.

CONCLUSIONS: This study will examine whether a contemporary neuroscience approach is superior over conventional physical therapy for improving functioning, quality of life, and reducing pain, central sensitization, and psychological problems in people with chronic WAD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)356-366
Number of pages11
JournalBrazilian Journal of Physical Therapy
Volume25
Issue number3
Early online date2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2021

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2020 Associação Brasileira de Pesquisa e Pós-Graduação em Fisioterapia. Publicado por Elsevier Editora Ltda. All rights reserved.

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'A contemporary neuroscience approach compared to biomedically focused education combined with symptom-contingent exercise therapy in people with chronic whiplash associated disorders: a randomized controlled trial protocol'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this