Self-efficacy and outcome expectancies: relationship to chronic pain coping strategies and adjustment.

Author: Jensen MP1, Turner JA, Romano JM
1Multidisciplinary Pain Center, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle 98195.
Conference/Journal: Pain.
Date published: 1991 Mar
Other: Volume ID: 44 , Issue ID: 3 , Pages: 263-9 , Word Count: 181

Recent studies suggest that coping strategies play an important role in adjustment to chronic pain. Identification of factors that influence coping could potentially help clinicians facilitate the use of adaptive coping strategies by pain patients. According to social learning theory, self-efficacy beliefs (judgments regarding one's capabilities) and outcome expectancies (judgments regarding the consequences of behaviors) are significant determinants of coping behavior. This study tested hypotheses derived from social learning theory by examining the contributions of these beliefs to the prediction of coping behavior in chronic pain patients. One hundred and fourteen chronic pain patients completed measures of health-related dysfunction, pain severity, use of 8 coping strategies, and outcome and self-efficacy expectancies regarding these coping strategies. In support of social learning theory, and consistent with research in other areas, the patients' beliefs regarding their capabilities were strongly related to reported coping efforts. Beliefs about the consequences of coping efforts and their interaction with beliefs about capabilities were generally unrelated to coping. These results suggest that treatment should emphasize the actual practice and use of adaptive coping strategies over education about their outcome.

PMID: 2052395