Beyond good and bad coping: a multidimensional examination of coping with pain in persons with rheumatoid arthritis

Ann Behav Med. 1997 Winter;19(1):11-21. doi: 10.1007/BF02883422.


This article examines the utility of using a multidimensional instrument to assess pain coping in two samples of persons with rheumatoid arthritis (total N = 378). The predictive validity of the newly developed Vanderbilt Multidimensional Pain Coping Inventory (VMPCI), which assesses eleven distinct coping strategies, was compared to that of the previously validated Vanderbilt Pain Management Inventory (VPMI), which assesses the two broad dimensions of active and passive coping. In both samples, the VMPCI demonstrated reliable incremental validity over the VPMI in predicting both positive and negative psychological adjustment, and the predictive ability of the VPMI was highly redundant with that of the VMPCI. Moreover, using the VMPCI, both positive and negative adjustment were related to multiple coping strategies in ways that could not be revealed by the VPMI. These results offer considerable validation to the VMPCI and illustrate the value of assessing coping multidimensionally.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / psychology*
  • Defense Mechanisms
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain / psychology*
  • Personality Inventory / statistics & numerical data
  • Psychometrics
  • Quality of Life
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sick Role*