Psychological Flexibility in Coping With Chronic Pain: Further Examination of the Brief Pain Coping Inventory-2

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Abstract

Objective:

The role of coping in chronic pain management is well established. One challenge to the coping approach, however, is in identifying forms of coping that reliably lead to better functioning. An emerging approach to coping is based on the notion of psychological flexibility, a response pattern entailing openness to experience, awareness of specific behavioral options in a given situation, and persistence or alteration of activity according to personally held values and goals. A primary measure of psychological flexibility has been the Brief Pain Coping Inventory-2 (BPCI-2), and initial analyses have provided support for its utility in chronic pain treatment settings. The present study aimed to extend the previous work by examining relations of the BPCI-2 with measures of patient functioning, as well as with measures related to psychological flexibility, pain acceptance and valued activity in this case.

Method:

A total of 324 individuals with chronic pain who completed a series of measures at an initial assessment appointment were included in the study.

Results:

In correlation and regression analyses, the Psychological Flexibility subscale of the BPCI-2 achieved consistently significant relations with measures of disability, emotional functioning, pain acceptance, and valued activity, even after controlling for pain intensity and traditional coping methods.

Discussion:

These results lend support to the adoption of psychological flexibility as a framework in future studies of coping with chronic pain.

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