There are limited data available on health-related quality of life (QoL) in patients with complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS). In the present study we examined QoL in 975 CRPS patients attending 6 different clinics in the Netherlands. QoL was assessed using the MOS 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36) with the Mental Health Summary Score (MHS) and the Physical Health Summary Score (PHS) as dependent variables. The influences of gender, type of affected limb, disease duration, pain scores, CRPS severity and set of diagnostic criteria used were investigated. We found the lowest scores of QoL in the physical domains of the SF-36, with lower-limb CRPS patients reporting poorer results than patients with an affected upper limb. Influence of gender on QoL was not observed, and correlations of QoL with disease duration and the CRPS severity score were weak. Pain correlated moderately with QoL. In addition, patients fulfilling stricter diagnostic criteria (ie, the Budapest criteria) had lower QoL scores than patients fulfilling less strict criteria (ie, the Orlando criteria). We conclude that loss of QoL in CRPS patients is due mainly to reduced physical health. A comparison with data available from the literature shows that CRPS patients generally report poorer QoL than patients with other chronic pain conditions, particularly in the physical domains. Pain correlated moderately with QoL and therefore deserves ongoing attention by physicians. Finally, patients meeting the diagnostic Budapest criteria have lower QoL scores than patients meeting the Orlando criteria, highlighting the impact of different sets of criteria on population characteristics.

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Department of Anesthesiology

van Velzen, G., Perez, R., van Van Gestel, M., Huygen, F., van Kleef, M., de Eijs, F., … Mariunus, J. (2014). Health-related quality of life in 975 patients with complex regional pain syndrome type 1. Pain, 155(3), 629–634. doi:10.1016/j.pain.2013.12.017