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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 43 (2001) 2, 71 - 81

New research

Multidisciplinary pain center: Trend or model?

C.E. Flik, W.A. van der Kloot, H. Koers, M. Huisman

background There is an extensive debate in the literature on the relation between chronic pain and psychopathology.
aims To assess the severity of pain and psychopathology, and the possible relations between the somatic and psychiatric complaints of patients of an anaesthesiologic pain clinic.
method All new patients between October 1997 and January 1999 received a questionnaire consisting of the McGill Pain Questionnaire (mpq-dlv) and the Symptom Checklist (scl-90). The mpq-dlv-scores of this sample were compared with those of 235 patients who received ambulatory physiotherapy. The scl-90-scores were compared with the standard scores of a normal population and with those of psychiatric outpatients. Eventually correlations between somatic and psychiatric complaints were investigated.
results Of the 294 questionnaires that were returned 208 (70.7%) could be used for analysis. The severity of pain complaints in our sample was significantly higher than in the physiotherapist control group. The rate of psychopathology was higher than in the 'normal' population, but lower than in the psychiatric outpatient group. Cluster analysis revealed two almost perfectly divided subgroups: 21% compares with the psychiatric outpatient group, 79% with the normal population.
conclusions These results highlight the need for adequate psychiatric diagnosis and treatment facilities at a pain clinic.

keywords mpq-dlv/u>, multidisciplinary treatment, pain, psychopathology, scl-90