The Measurement and Conceptualization of Coping Responses in Pediatric Chronic Pain Populations: A Scoping Review
Coping is crucial to pediatric chronic pain management, but related research is vast, inconsistent, and difficult to interpret. A scoping review was conducted to map and summarize the measurement and conceptualization of coping responses. Data from 125 English-language publications on coping in youth with chronic pain were extracted. Only 12.8% of studies used a theoretical framework to explain the responses assessed and fewer (7.2%) used theory to guide measure selection. Conceptual clarity was rated “low/very low” (no definitions and/or examples) for 47.2% of studies. Most studies were conducted in the United States (67%) and included primarily White and female participants. Questionnaires were frequently used (86%). Of the 95 studies that utilized a questionnaire with known psychometric properties, 33.7% and 55.8% were rated “low” (≥1 discrepancy) for conceptual and measurement consistency, respectively. This review highlights the need for clearer, comprehensive theories to guide the development and use of standardized measures.