Coudeyre, E, Demaille-Wlodyka, S., Poizat, S., Burton, A. Kim, Hamonet, M.A., Revel, M. and Poiraudeau, S. (2007) Could a simple educational intervention modify beliefs about whiplash? A preliminary study among professionals working in a rehabilitation ward. Annales de Réadaptation et de Médecine Physique, 50 (7). pp. 552-557. ISSN 01686054

Whiplash and its consequences remain an alarming clinical and social problem, and psychosocial factors could play a role. We aimed to translate and assess the effects on beliefs of an evidence-based educational booklet on whiplash-associated disorders among professionals who work in a rehabilitation ward.

After translation/back-translation of the English version of The Whiplash Book, we undertook a before-and-after prospective study. The main outcome assessment was final score on the whiplash belief questionnaire (WBQ) involving nine questions assessing beliefs and attitudes about the consequences of whiplash rated on a 5-point Likert scale ranging from “completely agree” to “complete disagree.” Final scores range from 9 to 45, low scores indicating positive beliefs. Demographic, educational and professional data, as well as personal medical history of neck pain, were recorded. Acceptability of the booklet was rated on a 10-point scale and by open questions.

Among the 50 professionals included in the study, 48 completed the questionnaire. Whiplash beliefs tended to be positive at first assessment (WBQ score 23.37 ± 6.45). Reading the whiplash booklet significantly improved beliefs (14.27 ± 4.39; P < 0.05). Global evaluation of the booklet on a 10-point scale was good (8.13 ±1.05) as was acceptability (8.13 ± 1.05).

After reading a booklet about whiplash translated into French, beliefs about the consequences of whiplash were changed for the better in this sample of French-speaking healthy professionals working in a rehabilitation ward. This simple educational intervention translated into French could be used for education and for ameliorating beliefs about the consequences of whiplash among health care professionals and the public.

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