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Prognostic value of coping strategies in a community-based sample of persons with chronic symptomatic knee osteoarthritis

Alschuler, Kevin N.a,*; Molton, Ivan R.a; Jensen, Mark P.a; Riddle, Daniel L.b

doi: 10.1016/j.pain.2013.08.012
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Summary Pain coping skills are demonstrated to be prognostic factors for changes in pain and/or function in persons with knee osteoarthritis.

Radiographic knee osteoarthritis (OA) is a highly prevalent condition that has been the focus of a number of studies identifying factors that are prognostic of continued or worsening pain and function. Although prior prognostic studies have identified a number of demographic, physical, and psychological factors that are predictive of outcome, minimal focus has been placed on pain coping skills as prognostic factors, despite cross-sectional evidence suggesting that pain coping skills are associated with pain and function in knee OA. The present study reports on the use of pain coping skills as prognostic factors for changes in pain and/or function over a 1-year period. Participants were drawn from the Osteoarthritis Initiative, a prospective longitudinal cohort study of persons recruited from the community who either had knee OA or were at high risk for developing knee OA. Data from the Coping Strategies Questionnaire were compared against 1-year change in pain, function, or both, using established criteria for defining whether the patient got better, worse, or stayed the same over the 1-year period. Results revealed a significant effect for praying/hoping, increased behavioral activities, and pain catastrophizing as prognostic of pain outcomes; ignoring pain and praying/hoping were prognostic of function outcomes; and increased behavioral activities and pain catastrophizing were prognostic of a combined pain and function outcome. The findings provide important new evidence regarding the potential clinical relevance of a number of pain coping responses hypothesized to influence future pain and function in persons with arthritis.

aDepartment of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA, USA

bDepartment of Physical Therapy, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA, USA

*Corresponding author. Address: UW Medicine Multiple Sclerosis Center, Box 358815, 1536 N 115th St, Suite 130, Seattle, WA 98133, USA. Tel.: +1 (206) 598 8047; fax: +1 (206) 598 1250.

E-mail: kalschul@uw.edu

Submitted February 20, 2013; revised August 13, 2013; accepted August 14, 2013.

© 2013 International Association for the Study of Pain
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