The Role of Helplessness, Fear of Pain, and Passive Pain-Coping in Chronic Pain Patients

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ObjectivesThe goal of this study was to examine the relative contribution of helplessness, fear of pain, and passive pain-coping to pain level, disability, and depression in chronic pain patients attending an interdisciplinary pain center.MethodsOne hundred sixty-nine chronic pain patients who had entered treatment at an interdisciplinary pain center completed various questionnaires and a pain diary.ResultsHelplessness, fear of pain, and passive pain-coping strategies were all related to the pain level, disability, and depression. When comparing the contribution of the predictors in multiple regression analyses, helplessness was the only significant predictor for pain level. Helplessness and the passive behavioral pain-coping strategies of resting significantly predicted disability. The passive cognitive pain-coping strategy of worrying significantly predicted depression.ConclusionsThese findings indicate a role for helplessness and passive pain-coping in chronic pain patients and suggest that both may be relevant in the treatment of pain level, disability, and/or depression.

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