Objective: This study investigated psychological characteristics of patients with chronic complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) and examined relationships between psychosocial factors and pain severity. Methods: In total, 76 patients with CRPS, 95 patients with other types of chronic pain, 171 healthy controls, and 66 patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) were included. Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI-2) profiles and scores on the Beck Depression Inventory and State–Trait Anxiety Inventory were calculated. Pain intensity was measured using a visual analog scale (VAS). Results: Patients with CRPS scored higher on the Hypochondriasis (Hs), Depression (D), Hysteria (Hy), Paranoia (Pa), and Psychasthenia (Pt) scales of the MMPI-2 compared to healthy controls. The CRPS group scored lower on the D, Psychopathic deviate (Pd), Pa, Pt, Schizophrenia (Sc), and Social introversion (Si) scales compared to the MDD group. Although CRPS patients reported higher levels of pain than patients with other types of pain, the MMPI profiles of the two pain groups did not differ significantly. Linear regression analyses revealed that pain severity was significantly associated with depression and scores on the Masculinity–Femininity (Mf) scale. Conclusion: This is the first comparative study of the psychological characteristics of chronic CRPS patients, healthy controls, and patients with MDD. The neurotic profiles of CRPS patients were more psychologically adaptable than were those of patients with MDD; however, this profile was shared by both pain groups. The present findings further showed that, although pain severity was not a major contributor to depression, patients with CRPS should be evaluated for depressive symptoms.
- Complex regional pain syndrome
- Major depressive disorder
- Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2