Coping Strategies Questionnaire

The Coping Strategies Questionnaire (CSQ)34[V] is a specific pain measure, designed to evaluate how pain patients cope with their pain. Patients respond to 48 items on a seven-point Likert type scale. The results indicate:

• six cognitive coping strategies: (1) diverting attention; (2) reinterpreting pain sensations; (3) calming self statements; (4) ignoring pain sensations; (5) praying and hoping; (6) catastrophizing; and

• two behavioral coping strategies: (1) increasing behavioral activity; (2) increasing pain behaviors.

These are combined into three general coping measures: (1) cognitive coping and suppression; (2) helplessness; (3) diverting attention and praying. The three general measures are predictive of other pain-related variables as well as mood state. The CSQ has been revised, retaining only 27 of the 48 original items.35 The original "catastrophizing'' and "diverting attention'' subscales were most robust. Although the original six cognitive factors were retained, the behavioral factors were not replicated.

Generally speaking, the literature has identified the adaptive coping strategies associated with less pain as the active coping strategies of staying busy, ignoring pain, and distraction. Maladaptive coping strategies, associated with increased pain, include catastrophizing, as well as the passive coping strategies such as restricting activities, wishful thinking, and depending on others.

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