The Measurement and Conceptualization of Coping Responses in Pediatric Chronic Pain Populations: A Scoping Review

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Nabbijohn, Aysha Natisha
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University of Guelph

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.

coping, coping response, pediatric chronic pain, scoping review, conceptualization, measurement