A stress-coping model of relationships between patients' beliefs about pain, coping (analgesic use), pain severity, analgesic side-effects, and three quality of life (QOL) outcomes was tested. Participants were 182 men and women with cancer who completed valid and reliable self-report measures of relevant variables. Antecedent variables (age and education) showed expected relationships with beliefs. As predicted, beliefs were significantly related to analgesic use. Analgesic use was inversely related to pain severity, but was not related to side-effect severity. Analgesic use was inversely related to impairments in QOL before controlling for pain and side-effect severity, but not after these two variables were controlled. Both analgesic side-effects and pain severity were related to impaired QOL outcomes, including difficulty performing life activities, depressed mood, and poor perceived health status.