A comparison of coping strategies in patients with fibromyalgia, chronic neuropathic pain, and pain-free controls

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Patients suffering from chronic pain may benefit from learning adaptive coping strategies. Consensus on efficient strategies for this group of patients is, however, lacking, and previous studies have shown inconsistent results. The present study has examined coping strategies in two distinctly different groups of chronic pain patients and a group of healthy controls. Thirty neuropathic pain (NP) patients, 28 fibromyalgia (FM) patients, and 26 pain-free healthy controls completed the Coping Strategy Questionnaire (CSQ-48/27) and rated their daily pain. The results showed that FM and NP patients did not cope differently with pain. The only difference between the groups was that FM patients felt more in control of their pain than NP patients. Both patient groups used more maladaptive/passive coping strategies, but surprisingly also more adaptive/active coping strategies than healthy controls. However, FM patients with high levels of passive strategies felt less in control than FM patients with low levels of passive strategies. This was not seen in NP patients. An important implication for clinical practice is therefore that passive coping strategies should be restructured into active ones, especially for FM patients. Otherwise, the same psychological treatment model can be applied to both groups since they use similar coping styles.

Original languageEnglish
JournalScandinavian Journal of Psychology
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)516-522
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2016

ID: 172030061