Self-efficacy beliefs in people with chronic pain have been assessed either by reference to confidence in ability to perform specific tasks or to confidence in performing more generalised constructs like coping with pain. Both approaches reflect aspects of the original conceptualisations of self-efficacy and both have proved useful, but it is noteworthy that confidence in performing activities in the context of pain is rarely addressed. An important element in the original formulations of self-efficacy referred to persistence in the face of obstacles and aversive experiences. In this context, self-efficacy beliefs for people experiencing chronic pain might be expected to incorporate not just the expectation that a person could perform a particular behaviour or task, but also their confidence in being able to do it despite their pain. This aspect of the self-efficacy construct has been included in a measure for people with chronic pain, the Pain Self-Efficacy Questionnaire (PSEQ). The accumulated evidence from a number of published studies and a confirmatory analysis with a large cohort of heterogeneous chronic pain patients attending a pain management program provide support for the PSEQ's original psychometric properties developed with a sample of chronic low back pain patients. The importance of taking the context of pain into account in the assessment of self-efficacy beliefs in pain populations and the ways in which this measure can be used to improve the assessment of people experiencing chronic pain, before and after treatment, are examined.