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01.12.2015 | Study protocol | Ausgabe 1/2015 Open Access

BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 1/2015

Value-based cognitive-behavioural therapy for the prevention of chronic whiplash associated disorders: protocol of a randomized controlled trial

BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders > Ausgabe 1/2015
Tonny Elmose Andersen, Sophie Lykkegaard Ravn, Kirsten Kaya Roessler
Wichtige Hinweise

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Authors’ contributions

TEA is the main responsible for this article, but all authors SLR and KKR have contributed during its development and have read and approved the final manuscript.



Whiplash injury is the most common traffic-related injury affecting thousands of people every year. Conservative treatments have not proven effective in preventing persistent symptoms and disability after whiplash injury. Early established maladaptive pain behaviours within the first weeks after the injury may explain part of the transition from acute to chronic whiplash associated disorder (WAD). Hence, early targeting of psychological risk factors such as pain catastrophizing, fear-avoidance-beliefs, depression, and symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may be important in preventing the development of chronic WAD. Some evidence exists that targeting fear-avoidance beliefs and PTSD with exposure strategies and value-based actions may prevent development of persistent disability after whiplash injury. Yet, the results have to be tested in a randomized controlled trial (RCT). The primary objective of the present study is to test whether a specifically tailored value-based cognitive-behavioural therapy program (V-CBT) is able to prevent the development of persistent disability, pain, and psychological distress if delivered within the first three months after a whiplash injury.


The current study is a two-armed randomized controlled study with a crossover design. Group A is scheduled for V-CBT within one week of randomization and group B with a delayed onset 3 months after randomization.


If the study detects significant effects of V-CBT as a preventive intervention, the study will provide new insights of preventive treatment for patients with WAD and thereby serve as an important step towards preventing the chronic condition.

Trial registration

Current Controlled Trials Registration September 19, 2014: NCT02251028
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