The role of coping flexibility in chronic pain adjustment: Preliminary analysis

Wing Sze WONG, Yu Fat CHOW, Steven WONG, Phoon P. CHEN, Huey Sing LIM, Lance M. MCCRACKEN, Richard FIELDING

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Introduction: While a body of research has evidenced the role of pain coping in chronic pain adjustment, the role of coping flexibility in chronic pain adjustment has received little research attention. Coping flexibility can be conceptualized with two dimensions, cognitive and behavioral. The cognitive dimension of coping flexibility (or coping appraisal flexibility) refers to one's appraisal of pain experience when changing coping strategies whereas the behavioral dimension of coping flexibility denotes the variety of coping responses individuals use in dealing with stressful demands. Objective: The aim of this paper is to present preliminary findings on the role of coping flexibility in chronic pain adjustment by assessing 3 competing models of pain coping flexibility (see , and ). Methods: Patients with chronic pain (n = 300) completed a battery of questionnaire assessing pain disability, discriminative facility, need for closure, pain coping behavior, coping flexibility, and pain catastrophizing. The 3 hypothesized models were tested using structural equation modeling (SEM). In all models tested, need for closure and discriminative facility were fitted as the dispositional cognitive and motivational factors respectively underlying the coping mechanism, whereas pain catastrophizing and pain intensity were included as covariates. Results: Results of SEM showed that the hierarchical model obtained the best data-model fit (CFI = 0.96) whereas the other two models did not attain an accept fit (CFI ranging from 0.70–0.72). Conclusion: Our results lend tentative support for the hierarchical model of pain coping flexibility that coping variability mediated the effects of coping appraisal flexibility on disability.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2016


Social Adjustment
Chronic Pain
Psychological Adaptation


Wong, W., Chow, Y., Wong, S., Chen, P., Lim, H., McCracken, L., et al. (2016, March). The role of coping flexibility in chronic pain adjustment: Preliminary analysis. Paper presented at the 24th European Congress of Psychiatry: Towards a common language in European psychiatry, Palacio Municipal de Congresos, Madrid, Spain.