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J Pain. 2007 Oct;8(10):802-13. Epub 2007 Jul 12.

The assessment of pain coping and pain-related cognitions in children and adolescents: current methods and further development.

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Department of Clinical and Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Heidelberg, Central Institute of Mental Health, Mannheim, Germany.


Pain coping and pain-related cognitions are considered important for the understanding of chronic pain in children. Based on a systematic literature search, 4 instruments were identified that assess a range of pain coping strategies and one questionnaire focusing on pain-related cognitions. Three of these tools have good psychometric quality. Yet, only the Pain Coping Questionnaire (PCQ) has been widely used across different pain conditions and by several international research groups. We designed the Pain-Related Cognitions Questionnaire for Children (PRCQ-C) as an abbreviated German version of the PCQ. Factorial, construct, and external validity were tested in a sample of 401 children and adolescents (7-18 years) comprising 253 school children and 148 children having recurrent pain. The proposed 3 subscales, "catastrophizing," "problem-solving," and "positive self-statements," were confirmed, all having good internal consistency and retest reliability. No age and only marginal gender differences were observed. Catastrophizing was associated with dysphoric mood, trait anxiety, and current pain activity. Subgroups of pain patients differed with regard to catastrophizing and positive self-statements.


The PRCQ-C is a brief instrument for the assessment of pain-related cognitions in children and adolescents. It supports the validity of the PCQ, demonstrates its use in an abbreviated version and extends its international availability.

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