The use of coping strategies in chronic low back pain patients: relationship to patient characteristics and current adjustment

Pain. 1983 Sep;17(1):33-44. doi: 10.1016/0304-3959(83)90125-2.


Cognitive and behavioral pain coping strategies were assessed by means of questionnaire in a sample of 61 chronic low back pain patients. Data analysis indicated that the questionnaire was internally reliable. While patients reported using a variety of coping strategies, certain strategies were used frequently whereas others were rarely used. Three factors: (a) Cognitive Coping and Suppression, (b) Helplessness, and (c) Diverting Attention or Praying, accounted for a large proportion of variance in questionnaire responses. These 3 factors were found to be predictive of measures of behavioral and emotional adjustment to chronic pain above and beyond what may be predicted on the basis of patient history variables (length of continuous pain, disability status, and number of pain surgeries) and the tendency of patients to somaticize. Each of the 3 coping factors was related to specific measures of adjustment to chronic pain.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adult
  • Back Pain / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motor Activity
  • Sick Role
  • Social Adjustment*