Implementation of a Guideline-Based Clinical Pathway of Care to Improve Health Outcomes Following Whiplash Injury (2017–2019)
Whiplash injury incurs a huge health burden on the Australian compulsory third party (CTP) schemes and
subsequently the Australian community. Partner organizations, MAIC (Queensland) and MAA (NSW) recognize whiplash as a substantial
problem that threatens the viability of the CTP schemes. The reason for this is the poor recovery following the injury with up to 50% of people
developing chronic pain and disability. The condition is heterogeneous and current treatments have not addressed this heterogeneity, preferring
to take a `one-size fits all¿ approach.
Substantial work of the CI team over the past several years has led to the identification and validation of prognostic indicators for both poor and
good recovery. In addition the CI team has produced and implemented clinical guidelines for whiplash aimed at several health professional groups. The culmination of this work is a validated clinical prediction rule (CPR) with good accuracy to identify `low, medium and high¿ risk
sub-groups of injured people and a clinical pathway of care matching evidence based treatments to these risk groups. The CIs and partner
organizations have worked together to develop this study which will test the effects of implementation of the clinical pathway on health and
economic outcomes following whiplash injury.
The aims of this study are:
1. To implement and evaluate the effect of a guideline-based clinical pathway of care on health outcomes following whiplash injury
2. To investigate if there is a differential effect of risk of recovery (`low risk¿ or `medium/high risk¿) on health outcomes for the clinical pathway
3. To conduct an economic evaluation of the clinical pathway of care
The outcomes of this study have the potential to improve health outcomes and hence CTP scheme efficiency and reduce costs associated with