Send to

Choose Destination
J Rheumatol. 1999 May;26(5):1058-64.

Behavioral coping and physical functioning: the effect of adjusting the level of activity on observed dexterity.

Author information

Sint Maartenskliniek Research, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.



To assess the relationship between behavioral coping and dexterity in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) after controlling for disease activity, impairment of the hands, and pain.


A random sample of 109 patients with RA was assessed twice within one year. Dexterity, disease activity, and impairment of the hands were measured using observational methods. Pain and coping with RA were assessed using self-report instruments.


Correlational findings showed that "decreasing activity" to cope with pain was negatively related to dexterity. "Pacing" as a way of coping with limitations was positively related to dexterity. Both relations were significant after controlling for duration of disease, impairment of hands, disease activity, and pain. "Decreasing activity" as a way of coping with pain was related to a decrease in dexterity in the subsequent year, after controlling for baseline measurements of dexterity, impairment, and disease activity as well as measurements of current disease activity and pain. "Pacing" as a way of coping with limitations was unrelated to subsequent changes in dexterity, after controlling for the above mentioned variables.


Behaviorial coping is related to current and subsequent levels of dexterity. Therefore, it is concluded that more attention should be given to behaviorial coping in both research and clinical practice.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center