Pain coping in injured workers with chronic pain

What's unique about workers?
Purpose: Pain caused by a work injury is a complex phenomenon comprising multiple factors, e.g. age, gender, prior health status, occupation, job demands, and severity of injury. Little research has focused on injured workers with chronic pain. This study investigates injured workers' pain coping. Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study design was used to measure coping strategies of injured workers in a work rehabilitation program. Differences in coping strategies by demographics, injury-related variables, pain, disability, and depression were measured. Results: n = 479. The coping strategy with the highest mean score was "coping self statements" (Mean = 19.4, SD = 7.6), followed by "praying/hoping" (Mean = 18.2, SD = 9.7), and "catastrophizing" (Mean = 17.5, SD = 8.0). Statistical differences for coping strategies were noted between gender, marital status, depression levels, self-perceived disability levels, and pain (p < 0.01 for all). Conclusions: This study provided relevant information about how injured workers cope with pain. In conditions in which there may be a perceived lack of control (high pain intensity, high self-perceived disability, and high self rated depression), there were significantly higher amounts of both "catastrophizing" and "praying and hoping". Therefore, workers with high pain and high self-perceived disability are more likely catastrophize their pain, leading to poor recovery outcomes.

Source : Phillips LA, Carroll LJ, Voaklander DC, Gross DP, Beach JR. Disabil. Rehabil. 2012.

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