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Health Psychol. 1996 Jan;15(1):3-10.

Effects of cognitive coping skills training on coping strategies and experimental pain sensitivity in African American adults with sickle cell disease.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, USA.


The present study examined whether training in cognitive coping skills would enhance pain coping strategies and alter pain perception in adults with sickle cell disease (SCD). Sixty-four African Americans with SCD were randomly assigned to either a cognitive coping skills condition (three 45-min sessions in which patients were trained to use 6 cognitive coping strategies) or a disease-education control condition (three 45-min didactic-discussion sessions about SCD). Pain sensitivity to calibrated noxious stimulation was measured at pre- and posttesting, as were cognitive coping strategies, clinical pain, and health behaviors. Results indicated that, compared with the randomly assigned control condition, brief training in cognitive coping skills resulted in increased coping attempts, decreased negative thinking, and lower tendency to report pain during laboratory-induced noxious stimulation.

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