The literature contains many different viewpoints on the impact of compensation on recovery from chronic pain.
What is the role of compensation in chronic pain and/or chronic pain disability?
The literature search identified 11 observational studies to provide evidence about this question.
There is a paucity of high-quality data on the subject of the impact of compensation on chronic pain. This subject was reviewed under the headings of (1) injury claim rate and duration; (2) recovery; and (3) rehabilitation treatment programs. The studies were of subjects with musculoskeletal pain, mainly low back pain.
Filing a compensation claim for costs, retaining a lawyer, or higher pain intensities were limited predictors of longer claims (level 3). As the ratio of compensation to preinjury wage increases, there is moderate evidence (level 2) that the duration of the claim increases and that disability is more likely. Compensation status, particularly combined with higher pain intensities, is associated with poorer prognosis after rehabilitation treatment programs (level 3).