Abstract

From the previous issue, this article continues a discussion of the potentially confusing aspects of the diagnostic formulation for complex regional pain syndrome type 1 (CRPS-1) proposed by the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP), the relevance of these issues for a proposed future protocol, and recommendations for clinical practice. IASP is working to resolve the contradictions in its approach to CRPS-1 diagnosis, but it continues to include the following criterion: “[c]ontinuing pain, which is disproportionate to any inciting event.” This language only perpetuates existing issues with current definitions, specifically the overlap between the IASP criteria for CRPS-1 and somatoform disorders, overlap with the guidelines for malingering, and self-contradiction with respect to the suggestion of injury-relatedness. The authors propose to overcome the last of these by revising the criterion: “[c]omplaints of pain in the absence of any identifiable injury that could credibly account for the complaints.” Similarly, the overlap with somatoform disorders could be reworded: “The possibility of a somatoform disorder has been thoroughly assessed, with the results of that assessment failing to produce any consistencies with a somatoform scenario.” The overlap with malingering could be addressed in this manner: “The possibility of malingering has been thoroughly assessed, with the results of that assessment failing to produce any consistencies with a malingering scenario.” The article concludes with six recommendations, and a sidebar discusses rating impairment for CRPS-1 (with explicit instructions not to use the pain chapter for this purpose).

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