Pain coping: a study of injured workers with long term pain

  • Author / Creator
    Phillips, Leah Adeline
  • Pain coping is the purposeful effort people use to manage and minimize the negative impacts of pain. The scientific literature on pain coping conceptualizes its role in recovery as a reciprocal interactive process of psychological, social, and biological factors. The objective of this dissertation was to investigate how workers cope with pain and how coping relates to recovery.
    Paper one-“How Do Injured Workers Cope with Pain? A Descriptive Study of Injured Workers with Occupationally Related Long Term Pain”, aimed to identify pain coping strategies used by workers and identify characteristics related to each strategy. This study hypothesized that workers’ coping may be a function of biological, social, and psychological factors. The results indicated that the most frequently used coping strategy was ‘coping self statements’, followed by ‘praying and hoping’, and ‘catastrophizing’. Additionally, coping strategies differed according to gender, marital status, education, part of the body injured, levels of depressed symptomatology, and pain.
    The objective of paper two, “Predicting Recovery for Workers with Chronic Pain: Does Pain Coping Matter?”, was to measure the prognostic values of pain coping strategies, using polynomial logistic regression and Cox regression, on two commonly used measures of recovery, self perceived disability and time to suspension of benefits. The adjusted polynomial models showed that ‘coping self statements’ predicted moderate disability. The Cox regressions showed that increases in ‘diverting attention’, ‘pain related behaviours’, and ‘perceived control’ meant small but significant decreased chances of suspended benefits.
    Paper three, “Self Perceived Disability in Workers with Chronic Pain: Does Depression Matter?”, sought to identify factors associated with self perceived disability at the beginning of rehabilitation. Depression and pain interacted to affect disability therefore, two multivariable models were built. For depressed workers, every one point increase in pain was associated with a 58% increased odds of moderate disability and a 258% increased odds of severe disability, compared to low disability. ‘Pain control’ was protective for moderate and severe disability. For non-depressed workers, a one point increase in pain was associated with a 97% increased odds of moderate and a 109% increased odds for severe disability. However, ‘Pain control’ was non-significant.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2010
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.