This study examined the relationship of pain coping strategies to osteoarthritis patients' ratings of self-efficacy and to spouses' ratings of the patients self-efficacy. Subjects, 130 individuals having osteoarthritis of the knees and persistent knee pain, completed a pain coping strategies measure (the Coping Strategies Questionnaire), a measure of self-efficacy (the Arthritis Self-Efficacy Scale), and a measure of pain (the McGill Pain Questionnaire). Two sets of regression analyses were conducted, one examining the degree to which pain coping strategies predicted patients' self-efficacy ratings, and the other examining the degree to which coping strategies predicted spouses' ratings of the patients' self-efficacy. Several pain coping strategies were found to predict a significant proportion of variance in patients' ratings of self-efficacy: (i) ignoring pain sensations was related to higher self-efficacy for pain; (ii) coping self statements were related to higher self-efficacy for controlling other arthritis symptoms (e.g., fatigue or mood symptoms; and (iii) catastrophizing was related to lower self-efficacy for pain, and self-efficacy for other arthritis symptoms. Pain coping strategies were also found to predict a significant proportion of variance in spouses' ratings of the patients' self-efficacy. Specifically: (i) diverting attention was related to lower spousal ratings of self-efficacy for pain; (ii) praying or hoping was related to lower spousal ratings of self-efficacy for function; and (iii) catastrophizing was related to lower spouses' ratings of self-efficacy for control of fatigue or mood symptoms. The findings regarding coping strategies were particularly interesting in that they were obtained even after controlling for pain intensity and demographic variables. The pain coping strategies identified are potentially important targets for cognitive-behavioral assessment and treatment efforts. Interventions designed to increase the use of adaptive pain coping strategies and decrease the use of maladaptive pain coping strategies could enhance self-efficacy, reduce pain, and improve the physical and psychological functioning of individuals having osteoarthritis.
- Pain coping strategies
- Self-efficacy ratings
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine