A Review of Psychosocial Factors in Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

  • Jessica A. LohnbergEmail author
  • Elizabeth M. Altmaier


Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a disabling pain condition poorly understood by medical professionals. Because CRPS is particularly enigmatic, and has significant impact on patient function, researchers have examined psychological processes present among patients with this diagnosis. This systematic review examines psychosocial factors associated with CRPS, both predictors and sequelae. Our conclusions are that CRPS is associated with negative outcomes, both psychological (e.g., increased depression and anxiety) and psychosocial (e.g., reduced quality of life, impaired occupational function) in nature. However, research does not reveal support for specific personality or psychopathology predictors of the condition.


Causalgia Chronic pain Complex regional pain syndrome Psychosocial factors Reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD) 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC (outside the USA) 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Psychology ServiceVA Palo Alto Health Care SystemPalo AltoUSA
  2. 2.Department of Psychological and Quantitative FoundationsUniversity of IowaIowa CityUSA
  3. 3.Department of Community and Behavioral HealthUniversity of IowaIowa CityUSA

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