Introduction: While conceived in the 1960's by Lazarus, the concept of coping was a long time coming in the field of neurological diseases. So far, no valid instrument has been available in French for assessing the style of coping of patients with neurological diseases.
Methods: We used Coping with Health Injuries and Problems (CHIP), which was conceived for patients with chronic diseases. We proceeded to a factorial analysis in a population of 307 patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) or Parkinson's disease (PD) in order to identify the factors observed in this population.
Results: We finally retained a model with six factors, which saturated on 24 items and explained 48% of the total variance. Factors we found included palliative coping and distraction, both known for the original instrument, and four new factors: emotional regulation, seeking of well-being/self-preservation, seeking of information and cognitive avoidance.
Discussion: Tools for assessing coping in a setting of chronic diseases must be adapted to specific diseases. In this new validation, CHIP appeared to be well adapted to the specific features of neurological disorders. This instrument would be useful for the neurologist to better understand the specific ways by which patients cope with their disease. Such knowledge would certainly have a positive effect on the patient-neurologist relationship. Moreover, a better understanding of patients' coping strategies in neurological diseases could pave the way for specific preventive interventions focusing on using coping strategies to promote better adaptation.
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