Control Beliefs, Coping Efforts, and Adjustment to Chronic Pain

Mark P. Jensen, Paul Karoly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

259 Scopus citations


This study examined factors hypothesized to influence adaptation to chronic pain in 118 patients who were interviewed to gauge adjustment (psychological functioning, medical services utilization, and activity level) and several widely discussed predictors of adjustment. Control appraisals and the practice of ignoring pain, using coping self-statements, and increasing activities were positively related to psychological functioning. Control appraisals and the practice of diverting attention, ignoring pain, and using coping self-statements also yielded a positive relation to activity level, but only for those patients reporting relatively low levels of pain severity. None of the predictors were related to medical services utilization. Future research is needed to replicate these findings and help clarify when appraisals and coping strategies are most productive among patients with chronic pain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)431-438
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of consulting and clinical psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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