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J Rheumatol. 2001 May;28(5):1068-72.

Coping, pain, and disability in osteoarthritis: a longitudinal study.

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The Netherlands Institute of Health Services Research (Nivel), Utrecht.



To establish the role of coping styles as prospective determinants of pain and disability in patients with osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee or hip.


Data from 71 patients with OA of the hip and 119 patients with OA of the knee were used. Using regression analysis, relationships were established between the use of active and passive coping styles and the level of pain and disability 36 weeks later.


In patients with knee OA, the passive coping style of resting was found to predict a higher level of disability 36 weeks later after controlling for the baseline level of disability. In the same manner in patients with knee OA, the active coping style of transforming pain was found to predict higher levels of pain 36 weeks later. In patients with hip OA, no significant relationship between coping styles and pain and disability was found.


The role of resting as a prospective determinant of disability, as reported in patients with other chronic disorders, could also be established for knee OA, but not hip OA. Transforming pain was found to be a risk factor for pain in knee OA.

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