Pain in Young Adults. II: The Use and Perceived Effectiveness of Pain-Coping Strategies

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ObjectiveThe first goal of the study was to determine the internal reliability of the Coping Strategies Questionnaire (CSQ) in young adults. The second goal was to examine the relation of the CSQ to reported pain levels. The third goal was to investigate the relationship between the CSQ and concomitant pain problems. The fourth goal was to compare young adults and different chronic pain samples in terms of the frequency of coping strategy use and perceived effectiveness of coping strategies.DesignThe study included 252 undergraduate students who were given the CSQ, a demographic and pain level questionnaire, and a concomitant pain problem survey.ResultsThe results indicated that the CSQ was internally reliable when used to assess pain coping strategy use among young adults. Catastrophizing was found to be associated with both pain level and concomitant pain problems, with subjects reporting higher levels of catastrophizing having higher levels of pain and a higher frequency of both migraine headaches and low back pain. Finally, differences were found when comparing the perceived effectiveness in controlling and decreasing pain, and in the use of specific coping strategies in the young adult and chronic pain samples. The young adult sample reported a greater perceived efficacy in controlling and decreasing pain, compared to a sample of low back pain patients and a sample of myofacial pain patients.ConclusionsThe results indicate that the CSQ is a reliable measure for the study of pain-coping strategies used in this population, and one that relates to differences reported in the experience of pain.

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