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Effect of an interdisciplinary inpatient program for patients with CRPS in reducing disease activity -a single center prospective cohort study.

Pain Medicine 2024 March 27
OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to evaluate the benefit of inpatient treatment in reducing disease activity in patients with CRPS who have exhausted outpatient options. Furthermore, the study sought to identify patient-related outcome variables that predict a reduction in disease activity.

METHODS: The primary outcome was disease severity (CRPS Severity Score, range 0-16 points)). Secondary outcomes included depression, anxiety, physical function, pain interference, fatigue, sleep disturbance, and ability to participate in social roles and activities, all of which were assessed using the Promis-29. Furthermore, pain catastrophizing, neuropathic pain, quality of life, pain self-efficacy, medication intake, and the patient's global impression of change were examined in accordance with current international agreed recommendations, assessed at discharge, three-month and six-month post-discharge. Mixed-effects models were conducted to identify baseline variables associated with CRPS severity.

RESULTS: Twenty-five patients completed the program (mean age 49.28 (SD 11.23) years, 92% females, mean symptom duration 8.5 (SD 6.5) months). Results showed a significant reduction between baseline and discharge of disease activity (CSS -2.36, p < 0.0001), pain (PROMIS-29 pain -0.88, p = 0.005) and emotional function (PROMIS-29 depression -5.05, p < 0.001; fatigue -4.63, p = 0.002). Moderate evidence for a reduction between baseline and discharge could be observed for pain interference (+2.27, p = 0.05), social participation (PROMIS-29 +1.93, p = 0.05), anxiety (PROMIS-29 -3.32, p = 0.02) and physical function (PROMIS-29 +1.3, p = 0.03). On discharge, 92% of patients (23 of 25) reported improvement in their overall condition. In the follow-up period, medication intake could be reduced after 3 (MQS -8.22, p = 0.002) and 6 months (MQS -8.69, p = 0.001), and there was further improvement in social participation after 3 months (PROMIS-29 +1.72, 0.03) and sleep after 6 months (PROMIS-29 +2.38, 0.008). In the mixed models, it was demonstrated that patients experiencing less pain at baseline also exhibited lower disease activity.

CONCLUSION: The results of this study confirm that inpatient interdisciplinary treatment of CRPS patients improves disease activity, pain, physical function, emotional function, and social participation. Most improvements were maintained for up six months after discharge. The majority of patients reported that their overall condition had improved during the study period.

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