Date of Award

Fall 2011

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MSc)


Rehabilitation Science


Joy MacDermid


James Henry



Committee Member

James Bain


Complex regional pain syndrome is a neurological condition characterized by a constellation of variable and seemingly disparate signs and symptoms for which there is presently no definitive diagnostic test. The opportunity exists for development of a condition-specific outcome measure for complex regional pain syndrome affecting any limb(s) that could be used by therapists, physicians and researchers to evaluate their patients, make treatment decisions, and monitor the changes in both impairments and quality of life experienced by those affected individuals. This thesis addresses outcome assessment in complex regional pain syndrome, incorporating 2 papers. The first is a systematic review of the current scope and psychometric rigor of outcome assessments available to health professionals to guide their management of this condition. The second paper describes the preliminary development steps of a new measurement tool for complex regional pain syndrome, with a focus on a cognitive debriefing study of current assessment practices and preferences of a cross-section of health professionals used to inform the definitions and user manual for a multi-disciplinary assessment. Finally, the thesis addresses areas for future refinement and testing of the proposed outcome measure.


Appendices include current drafts of the Hamilton Inventory for Complex Regional Pain Syndrome and the associated user manual for the assessment tool.

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