Burn injuries involve significant physiological, psychological, and social challenges with which individuals must cope. Although the brief COPE (BCOPE) is frequently used, knowledge of its factor structure and construct validity is limited, thus limiting confidence with interpreting results. This study assessed psychometric properties of the BCOPE in hospitalized patients with burn injury. Participants had a major burn injury (n = 362). Measures assessed coping behavior and physical, psychological, and social functioning. Exploratory factorial analysis was conducted to evaluate patterns of coping strategies. To assess construct validity, the BCOPE scale scores were correlated with the distress measures across time points. Exploratory factorial analysis revealed seven factors accounting for 51% of total variance. The pattern matrix indicated four items loaded onto factor 1 (active coping = 0.47-0.80) and four onto factor 2 (avoidant coping = 0.59-0.73). The remaining factors were consistent with original scale assignments reported by Carver (Int J Behav Med 1997;4:92-100). Construct validity of BCOPE scales (active and avoidant) was demonstrated by their association with the Davidson trauma scale, short form-12, and satisfaction with appearance scale. The results indicate that the BCOPE is valid, reliable, and can be meaningfully interpreted. Research using these factors may improve knowledge about interrelationships among stress, coping, and outcome, thus building the evidence base for managing distress in this population.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Emergency Medicine