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The determinants of coping with pain in chronically ill geriatric patients – the role of a sense of coherence

Authors Andruszkiewicz A, Basińska MA, Felsmann M, Banaszkiewicz M, Marzec A, Kędziora-Kornatowska K

Received 26 July 2016

Accepted for publication 10 November 2016

Published 9 February 2017 Volume 2017:12 Pages 315—323


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Walker

Anna Andruszkiewicz,1 Małgorzata Anna Basińska,2 Mirosława Felsmann,3 Mariola Banaszkiewicz,4 Alicja Marzec,3 Kornelia Kędziora-Kornatowska5

1Department of Health Promotion, Faculty of Health Sciences, Nicolaus Copernicus University Ludwik Rydygier Collegium Medicum, 2Department of Psychopathology and Clinical Diagnosis, Institute of Psychology, Kazimierz Wielki University, 3Department of Nursing, 4Department of Postgraduate Education, 5Department and Clinic of Geriatrics, Faculty of Health Sciences, Nicolaus Copernicus University Ludwik Rydygier Collegium Medicum, Bydgoszcz, Poland

Background: Given the rising population of the elderly in modern societies, the concern for their good functioning poses a challenge for the 21st century medicine and social services. Senior citizens are at an increased risk of developing chronic conditions, which in turn increase discomfort associated with physiological processes of aging. Sensations of pain have a particular influence on the mentioned discomfort, and pain is prevalent among older people. Therefore, from the perspective of an elderly person and senior care, it is crucial to identify determinants of effective coping with chronic pain.
Objectives: The aim of the research was to assess the relationship between a sense of coherence (SOC) and pain-coping strategies in chronically ill seniors. A total number of 188 individuals were included in the study, of whom 117 were female subjects and 71 were male subjects, with a mean age of 68.38 (standard deviation [SD] =6.35) years in the studied group. Subjects were sampled based on a diagnosis of a chronic medical illness with chronic pain as one of the major symptoms.
Methods: The Polish adaptation of the Orientation to Life Questionnaire (SOC-29) to assess an SOC, the Coping Strategies Questionnaire (CSQ) to assess pain-coping strategies, and the visual analog scale (VAS) to assess pain intensity were used in the study.
Results and conclusion: The mean score of respondents’ SOC was 133.44 (SD =24.35). Among most common pain-coping strategies used by the respondents were prayer and hope, and the declaration of coping with pain while redefining pain was the least often used coping strategy in the studied group. Individuals with stronger SOC were less prone to catastrophizing and more often declared that they were coping with and could control and reduce pain.

Keywords: chronic pain, pain-coping strategies, sense of coherence, older persons

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