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Pain in Young Adults—III: Relationships of Three Pain-Coping Measures to Pain and Activity Interference

Lester, Naomi Ph.D.; Lefebvre, John C. M.A.*; Keefe, Francis J. Ph.D.*†


The study had two purposes: (a) to examine the relationships among coping strategies measured by the Coping Strategies Questionnaire (CSQ) (1), the Vanderbilt Pain Management Inventory (VPMI) (2), and the Ways of Coping Inventory (WOC) (3) and identify the higher-order composite factors representing these relationships; and (b) to determine the degree to which individual coping scale scores and composite coping factor scores could explain variability in the pain intensity and pain-related activity interference reported by young adults. Measures of pain coping were collected from 206 young adults using the CSQ, VPMI, and WOC, along with measures of pain intensity, pain location, and the extent to which pain interfered with daily activities. Results indicated considerable variability in the reported frequency of use of paincoping strategies and in pain intensity, location, and activity interference. Principal components factor analysis identified three higher-order coping factors (Emotional and Other-Directed Coping, Active Cognitive Coping, and Self-Efficacy for Pain Control) that explained 87% of the variance in individual coping scale scores. The degree to which individual scale scores and composite factor scores explained variability in pain intensity and activity interference variables was determined through a series of multiple regression analyses. The results revealed that individual scale scores, particularly the CSQ scales of catastrophizing and praying or hoping, were best able to explain the variance in measures of pain and activity interference. Taken together, these findings provide further support for the importance of coping variables in explaining the experience of pain and adjustment in young adults.

Department of Psychology, University of North Florida, Jacksonville, Florida; *Department of Psychology: Social and Health Sciences, Duke University; and †Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina, U.S.A.

Manuscript submitted January 18, 1996; revision received June 18, 1996; accepted for publication August 8, 1996.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. F. J. Keefe at Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Pain Management Program, Box 3159, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710, U.S.A.

© Lippincott-Raven Publishers.