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Title: Coping and adjustment in paediatric chronic pain : the role of child and parent pain beliefs
Author: Masterson, Ciara
Awarding Body: University of Leicester
Current Institution: University of Leicester
Date of Award: 1999
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There is wide variation in psychological and functional adjustment to paediatric chronic pain. This study aimed to explore predictors of adjustment that are amenable to intervention. Relationships between children's and parents' causal and control beliefs were examined, as well as the relationships between these beliefs and coping and adjustment measures. The study had a correlational design. Participants were 40 children aged 11-17 with non-pathological chronic pain, and their parents. Attributions and control beliefs were elicited by semi-structured interviews. Pain coping strategies, functional adjustment, and psychological adjustment were assessed by standardised questionnaires. Associations between measures were examined using non-parametric statistics. The findings show that paediatric pain patients and their parents make attributions about the cause of the pain, and that there are associations between children's and parents' pain beliefs. As predicted, children who made attributions to their own behaviour had higher beliefs in their ability to control pain. Children's attributions to their own behaviour also influenced coping and adjustment as predicted, but these associations were not statistically significant. Parents' attributions to the child's behaviour were also associated with the use of effective coping and good adjustment in the child, and had more associations with coping and adjustment than the children's attributions had. Children's attributions to pathological causes had several associations with control, coping, and adjustment measures as predicted. However, parental attributions to pathology were not found to have a clear relationship with children's coping and adjustment. The study found that children's and parents' beliefs about pain were moderately related, which supports the use of family-based intervention in the treatment or paediatric chronic pain. In addition, the results suggest that intervention should focus on beliefs about the pain and on increasing the child's use of active coping strategies.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available