Chronic pain, compensation and clinical knowledge

The nosological status of the putative clinical entity of compensation neurosis and the relationship of chronic pain complaints to compensation are explored. It is concluded that, using the traditional criteria of diagnostic validity, there is no support for the view that a specific type of psychiatric disorder related to compensation or litigation can be demonstrated. Although it has been generally considered that chronic pain complaints reflect an underlying disease state, recent evidence has shown that in the medico-legal setting the nature of the compensation system and the level of available benefits have a marked influence on both the rate of chronic pain complaints and the duration of pain related work incapacity.
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