Journal article
Gender differences in coping with musculoskeletal pain

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Publication Details
Author list: Soares, Joaquim
Publication year: 2000
Start page: 305
End page: 321
Number of pages: 17
ISSN: 1070-5503


Gender differences in coping with musculoskeletal pain were cross-sectionally investigated, using questionnaires (Coping Strategies Questionnaire), in 446 Swedish patients (mean age 46 years, 72% women) seeking care for their ailments. Compared to male patients, women reported more disability, a larger consumption of analgesics, more work strain, higher levels of posttraumatic stress reactions, a lower self-esteem, and higher scores for the Coping Strategies Questionnaire indexes: diverting attention, praying/hoping, catastrophizing, increased behavioural activity, and pain behaviours. All gender differencesin coping were ruled out in multivariate analyses, except for the association between the interaction term Gender x Posttraumatic Stress Reactions and Catastrophizing. Among women, catastrophizing was positively associated with posttraumatic stress reactions, perceived disability, and the number of previous treatments for pain.Nosuch associations were found among men. Women’s poorer capacity to cope with musculoskeletal pain is related to higher level of emotional distress, greater disability, and a history of treatments for pain.

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