Relationship between complex regional pain syndrome and working life: A Korean study

Joo Eun Kang, Yong Chul Kim, Sang Chul Lee, Jae Hun Kim

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11 Scopus citations


Complex regional pain syndrome affects the quality of life of the patient. The aim of this study was to investigate the epidemiological features of this syndrome and evaluate its effect on the patient's working life. We demonstrated that the disease has a male preponderance and is 3 times more likely to affect the lower extremities. In this study, 11 participants (20%) retained their employment, whereas 44 (80%) became unemployed. Mean age and pain score were lower in the employment group than in the unemployment group (29.1 ± 16.8 yr vs 40.1 ± 12.6 yr, P = 0.021, and 4.5 ± 2.9 vs 7.0 ± 2.0, P = 0.002, respectively). Subjects diagnosed within 8 months (P = 0.044), those who had achieved higher levels of education (P = 0.028), and those working in white-collar jobs (P = 0.011) had higher employment-retention rates. Therefore, patients must manage their jobs (lower physical demand and decrease the number of working hours) if they are to improve their occupational life. To achieve satisfactory outcomes and a high employment-retention rate, clinicians must be aware of the importance of an early diagnosis (within 8 months), appropriate treatment, and a reduction in the patient's pain score.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)929-933
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Korean Medical Science
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2012


  • Complex regional pain syndromes
  • Employment
  • Work

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