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Psychological features of patients with complex regional pain syndrome type I related dystonia



The objective of this study was to evaluate psychological features in severely affected patients with complex regional pain syndrome type I- (CRPS-I) related dystonia. Personality traits, psychopathology, dissociative experiences, the number of traumatic experiences, and quality of life were studied in 46 patients. Findings were compared with two historical psychiatric control groups [54 patients with conversion disorder (CD) and 50 patients with affective disorders (AD)] and normative population data. The CRPS-I patients showed elevated scores on the measures for somatoform dissociation, traumatic experiences, general psychopathology, and lower scores on quality of life compared with general population data, but had significantly lower total scores on the measures for personality traits, recent life events, and general psychopathology compared with the CD and AD patients. Rates of early traumatic experiences were comparable with the CD and AD patients, and the level of somatoform dissociation was comparable to the CD patients, but was elevated in comparison to the AD patients. Early traumatic experiences were reported in 87% of the CRPS-I patients and were found to be moderately related to somatoform dissociative experiences, indicating that early traumatic experiences might be a predisposing, although not a necessary factor for the development of CRPS-I-related dystonia. Although the psychological profile of the patients with CRPS-I-related dystonia shows some elevations, there does not seem to be a unique disturbed psychological profile on a group level. © 2008 Movement Disorder Society