Risk Factors for Suicidal Ideation among Patients with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

Psychiatry Investig. 2014 Jan;11(1):32-8. doi: 10.4306/pi.2014.11.1.32. Epub 2013 Oct 16.


Objective: Chronic pain frequently coexists with psychiatric symptoms in patients diagnosed with complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS). Previous studies have shown a relationship between CRPS and the risk of suicide. The purpose of this study was to assess risk factors for suicidal ideation in patients with CRPS.

Methods: Based on criteria established by the International Association for the Study of Pain, 39 patients diagnosed with CRPS Type 1 or Type 2 were enrolled in this study. Suicidal ideation was assessed using item 3 of the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAMD), and symptoms of pain were evaluated using the short form of the McGill Pain Questionnaire (SF-MPQ). Psychiatric symptoms were assessed in using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Disorders (SCID-I, SCID-II), the HAMD, the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HAMA), the Global Assessment of Functioning Scale (GAF), and the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI).

Results: Twenty-nine patients (74.4%) were at high risk and 10 (25.6%) were at low risk for suicidal ideation. Risk factors significantly associated with suicidal ideation included depression (p=0.002), severity of pain (p=0.024), and low scores on the GAF (p=0.027). No significant correlations were found between suicidal ideation and anxiety or quality of sleep.

Conclusion: Significant risk factors for suicidal ideation in patients with CRPS include severity of pain, depressive symptoms, and decreased functioning. These results suggest that psychiatric evaluation and intervention should be included in the treatment of CRPS.

Keywords: Anxiety; Complex regional pain syndrome; Depression; Suicidal ideation.