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Pain. 2008 Jul 15;137(2):266-75. Epub 2007 Oct 24.

A typology of pain coping strategies in pediatric patients with chronic abdominal pain.

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Department of Pediatrics, Division of Adolescent Medicine and Behavioral Health, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, VU Children's Hospital, Nashville, TN 37232-9060, USA.


This study aimed to identify clinically meaningful profiles of pain coping strategies used by youth with chronic abdominal pain (CAP). Participants (n=699) were pediatric patients (ages 8-18 years) and their parents. Patients completed the Pain Response Inventory (PRI) and measures of somatic and depressive symptoms, disability, pain severity and pain efficacy, and perceived competence. Parents rated their children's pain severity and coping efficacy. Hierarchical cluster analysis based on the 13 PRI subscales identified pain coping profiles in Sample 1 (n=311) that replicated in Sample 2 (n=388). Evidence was found of external validity and distinctiveness of the profiles. The findings support a typology of pain coping that reflects the quality of patients' pain mastery efforts and interpersonal relationships associated with pain coping. Results are discussed in relation to developmental processes, attachment styles, and treatment implications.

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