A multidisciplinary rehabilitation program may improve body perception disturbance in addition to reducing pain in patients with complex regional pain syndrome, according to study results published in Pain Medicine.

The study included 50 participants (70% women; mean age, 44.7 years) with complex regional pain syndrome who completed a 2-week multidisciplinary rehabilitation program between September 2014 and December 2016). Body disturbance and pain were assessed with the Bath Body Perception Disturbance scale and a pain intensity numeric rating scale, respectively, before and after rehabilitation. The researchers analyzed associations between rehabilitation and body perception disturbance. Of all participants, 30 provided complete data sets.

After program completion, there was a significant reduction in body perception disturbance, with a mean Bath Body Perception Disturbance total score of 23.83±11 compared with 34.3±10.8 at baseline (P <.0001). The strength of negative emotional feelings was also significantly reduced from 7.5±2.5 to 5.2±2.7 (P <.0001).

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Before the program, the mean pain intensity rating was 7.5±2.5. After the program, the mean rating dropped significantly to 6.2±2.7 (P =.0038).

A significant association was established between a change in body perception disturbance and pain (r=0.44; P =.024). No relationship was established between the duration of symptoms and a change in body perception disturbance.

Study limitations include a small cohort size.

“Further work is required to identify the effective components of [a multidisciplinary treatment] program and whether these outcomes of rehabilitation can be maintained over time,” noted the researchers.

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Reference

Lewis JS, Kellett S, McCullough R, et al. Body perception disturbance and pain reduction in longstanding complex regional pain syndrome following a multidisciplinary rehabilitation program [published online August 2, 2019]. Pain Med. doi:10.1093/pm/pnz176