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Understanding the physical and mental functioning of those with persistent and resolved Complex Regional Pain Syndrome to help inform treatment approaches

McCabe, Candy; Llewellyn, Alison; Hibberd, Yvette; White, Paul; Davies, Lindsay; Marinus, Johan; Perez, Roberto; Thomassen, Ilona; Brunner, Florian; Sontheim, Carol; Birklein, Frank; Goebel, Andreas; Haigh, Richard; Connett, Robyn; Maihofner, Christian; Knudsen, Lone; Harden, Norman; Zyluk, Andrzej; Shulman, David; Small, Helen; Gobeil, Francois; Moskovitz, Peter A.


Candy McCabe
Professor of Clinical Research and Practice

Yvette Hibberd

Paul White
Professor in Applied Statistics

Lindsay Davies

Johan Marinus

Roberto Perez

Ilona Thomassen

Florian Brunner

Carol Sontheim

Frank Birklein

Andreas Goebel

Richard Haigh

Robyn Connett

Christian Maihofner

Lone Knudsen

Norman Harden

Andrzej Zyluk

David Shulman

Helen Small

Francois Gobeil

Peter A. Moskovitz


Pain is bio-psychosocial in nature. Recognising the inter-relationship of physical and psychological factors in Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) has clinical implications for treating this often poorly understood chronic pain condition. Whilst there is little evidence suggesting psychosocial factors have a prognostic role in the development of CRPS, research suggests CRPS has significant consequences for patients, such as poor psychological health, poor functional ability and reduced quality of life (QoL). It is also known that anxiety, pain-related fear, and disability in the early stages of CRPS are associated with poorer outcomes in the first year.
However, little is known about how demographic and bio-psychosocial factors may vary and relate to patient-defined recovery and other individual characteristics (including duration of the condition and upper- versus lower-limb CRPS). Understanding self-reported symptoms and psychosocial factors within these contexts may be important in helping healthcare professionals design and evaluate future treatments.

To undertake a cross-sectional study, describing the self-reported physical and psychological function of people with CRPS (with varying disease duration), and those who had recovered. Using an international sample to ensure population diversity, to identify variances and/or relationships between recovered and non-recovered populations and condition characteristics (upper/lower limb affected).

Following ethical and institutional approvals at study sites, potential participants ≥18yrs, who met, or previously met, Budapest CRPS criteria, were identified from 8 country-specific databases (UK, Germany, USA, Canada, Switzerland, Denmark, Netherlands, Poland) and sent postal questionnaires (translated from English as required). Consent was implied by return of completed questionnaires. Data collected within countries was anonymised and pooled on a single common database (lead centre Bath).
Self-reported data included: patient demographics, limb affected, disease stage (early, intermediate, late, recovered/non-recovered); knowing CRPS type (I or II); date of CRPS onset; trigger (trauma or spontaneous); and symptoms (from a provided list) in the prior 48 hours.
Participants also completed: McGill Pain Questionnaire (MPQ); EQ-5D; Acceptance and Action Questionnaire (AAQ-II); Radboud Skills Questionnaire (RSQ) for upper-limb CRPS; and Measuring Activity Limitations in Walking Questionnaire (WAQ) for lower-limb. Chi-squared, Welch’s t-tests, odds ratios and regression analyses were used to explore the data.

N=347 participants (80.4% female; mean age=53yrs; 52.7% disease duration ≥ 3yrs. N=310 reported recovery status: 280 (90.3%) non-recovered.
Self-reported recovery and number of symptoms were strongly associated (χ2 = 124.94, df = 15, p


McCabe, C., Llewellyn, A., Hibberd, Y., White, P., Davies, L., Marinus, J., …Moskovitz, P. A. (2016, May). Understanding the physical and mental functioning of those with persistent and resolved Complex Regional Pain Syndrome to help inform treatment approaches. Poster presented at British Pain Society Annual Scientific Meeting, Harrogate, UK

Presentation Conference Type Poster
Conference Name British Pain Society Annual Scientific Meeting
Start Date May 10, 2016
End Date May 12, 2016
Publisher SAGE Publications
Keywords Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, recovery, functioning
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Title of Conference or Conference Proceedings : British Pain Society Annual Scientific Meeting