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Chronic Illn. 2013 Mar;9(1):29-42. doi: 10.1177/1742395312450178. Epub 2012 Jun 1.

Coping with chronic complex regional pain syndrome: advice from patients for patients.

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Department of Psychology, University of Bath, Bath, UK.



To explore what advice people currently living with chronic complex regional pain syndrome would offer to another person coming to terms with a diagnosis of chronic complex regional pain syndrome.


Semi-structured interviews with 21 adults (5 male) living with chronic complex regional pain syndrome who had completed a complex regional pain syndrome rehabilitation programme were conducted.


Effectively self-managing complex regional pain syndrome required individuals to play an active role. This could only be achieved if they felt they had sufficient control. Means of attaining control involved attaining a level of acceptance, becoming well-informed and accessing the right kind of support. The advice offered by patients for patients largely reflected that offered by healthcare professionals. One area where there was a conflict concerned sleep hygiene.


Our study provides support both for the argument put forward by Redman that without appropriate preparation and support, self-management is ineffective, and that by Skuladottir and Hallsdottir that the main challenge of the chronic pain trajectory is that of retaining a sense of control. The clinical implications of this are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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