Annals of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 33, Issue 2, pp 179–188 | Cite as

Adjustment to chronic pain: The role of pain acceptance, coping strategies, and pain-related cognitions

  • Rosa Esteve
  • Carmen Ramírez-Maestre
  • Alicia E. López-Martínez


Background: Previous research has found that acceptance of pain is more successful than coping variables in predicting adjustment to pain.Purpose: To compare the influence of acceptance, pain-related cognitions and coping in adjustment to chronic pain.Methods: One hundred seventeen chronic pain patients attending the Clinical Pain Unit were administered a battery of questionnaires assessing pain acceptance, active and passive coping, pain-related cognitions, and adjustment.Results: The influence of acceptance, coping, and cognition on all the adjustment variables was considered simultaneously via Structural Equation Modeling using LISREL 8.30 software. A multigroup analysis showed that the male and female samples did not significantly differ regarding path coefficients. The final model showed that acceptance of pain determined functional status and functional impairment. However, coping measures had a significant influence on measures of emotional distress. Catastrophizing self-statements significantly influenced reported pain intensity and anxiety; resourcefulness beliefs had a negative and significant influence on depression.Conclusions: These findings suggest that acceptance may play a critical role in the maintenance of functioning and, with this aim, acceptance-based treatments are promising to avoid the development of disability. They also lend support to the role of control beliefs and of active coping to maintain a positive mood. Acceptance and coping are presented as complementary approaches.


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Copyright information

© The Society of Behavioral Medicine 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rosa Esteve
    • 1
  • Carmen Ramírez-Maestre
    • 1
  • Alicia E. López-Martínez
    • 1
  1. 1.Departamento de Personalidad, Evaluación y Tratamientos Psicológicos, Facultad de PsicologíaUniversity of MálagaMálagaSpain

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