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Eur J Pain. 2008 Aug;12(6):749-56. Epub 2007 Dec 21.

Cognitive appraisal and coping in chronic pain patients.

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Departamento de Personalidad, Evaluación y Tratamiento Psicológico, Faculty of Psychology, Universidad de Málaga, Campus de Teatinos, 29071 Málaga, Spain.



This study analyses the relationships between patients' cognitive appraisals concerning their pain and the coping strategies they use. In addition, the way the coping strategy influences the intensity of perceived pain and impairment in these patients was studied.


One hundred and twenty two patients with musculoskeletal chronic pain participated. The assessment tools were as follows: The Cognitive Appraisal Inventory for Chronic Pain Patients (CAI), the Vanderbilt Pain Management Inventory (VPMI), the McGill Pain Questionnaire (MPQ) and the Impairment and Functioning Inventory for Chronic Pain Patients (IFI). The hypothetical model was empirically tested using the LISREL 8.20 software package and the unweighted least squares method.


High levels of challenge appraisal were associated with low levels of passive coping and high levels of active coping strategies, whereas the harm, loss or threat appraisal predicted high use of passive coping strategies. Passive coping had three statistically significant path coefficients: high levels of passive coping were associated with low levels of functioning and high levels of pain intensity and impairment. However, high levels of active coping reported high levels of daily functioning.


By analysing the cognitive appraisals made by chronic pain patients, clinicians could make better predictions regarding the way they cope and adjust.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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