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Letters to the Editor
December 2000

Comment on Berry and Hachinski

Arch Neurol. 2000;57(12):1791-1792. doi:

The recent commentaries by Berry1 and Hachinksi2 provide considerable justification for abandoning dualistic models of whiplash and adopting the more complete and more effective biopsychosocial model. For decades now, the medicolegal and social dilemma of the late whiplash syndrome has been fueled via highly polarized views or models.3 Models may be of value in providing a coherent basis on which to formulate treatment and research avenues as well as to provide logical explanations to patients about their illness. Yet, as Berry and Hachinski point out, the traditional model for the late whiplash syndrome that physicians and others have most often relied on is the dichotomous model (ie, organic vs nonorganic). Thus, either there is an organic (biological) disease or, if there is "nothing wrong," then there must be a psychiatric/psychological problem (nonorganic).

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