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HealthIndex, Inc.

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Topics in Integrative Health Care: An International Journal

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Objectives: The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of a semi-customized orthopedic cervical pillow on sleep outcomes in Whiplash Associated Disorder (WAD) patients.

Methods: A convenience sample of forty-three WAD patients who participated in this study was randomly assigned to an intervention or control group. The intervention group was given a Tri-Core® (Core Products International, Inc., Osceola) semi-customized orthopedic cervical pillow for sleep. Both the intervention and control groups received the Funhab® rehabilitation protocol (Sports and Spine Rehab Holdings Inc., Fort Washington). Outcome measures collected at the initial visit (baseline) and at discharge in both groups included characteristics of self-reported sleep operationalized by research participants completing the Medical Outcomes Study (MOS) Sleep questionnaire. Duration in the study varied among patients depending on individual progression and needs. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and repeated measures ANOVA.

Results: There were no differences between the control group and intervention group in sleep problems, sleep disturbances and sleep adequacy. The only significant finding between groups was the improvement in self-reported snoring in the intervention group.

Conclusion: These findings indicate that WAD patients who use a semi-customized cervical pillow in combination with a standard rehabilitation protocol did not experience improvements in most of their sleep outcomes beyond those experienced by a control condition that used the rehabilitation protocol alone. The single variable which did decline among patients who used the TriCore® pillow and increased in the control condition was self-reported snoring. Future research is warranted to further examine other sleep characteristics associated with snoring as a result of using the TriCore® cervical pillow and the Funhab rehabilitation program.


Published version. Topics in Integrative Health Care: An International Journal, Vol. 3, No. 3 (September 30, 2012). © 2012 HealthIndex, Inc.

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