Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




George M. Bass


This study explored the interactions of cognitive appraisal of pain, cognitive appraisal of function, pain coping strategies and physical functioning in a work hardening population. Using a retrospective design, the medical records of 85 subjects were reviewed for their responses on the following instruments: a 10 cm. Visual Analogue Scale (to measure appraisal of pain), the Spinal Function Sort (to measure appraisal of function); the Coping Strategies Questionnaire (to measure pain coping strategies); a series of objective measures of physical function; and several demographic questions. Pearson product moment correlation and simple regression were used to analyze data. Correlational analyses suggested that a moderate to strong, statistically significant relationship existed between the Spinal Function Sort and most of the objective measures of physical function. The statistically significant, negative relationship between the Coping Strategies Questionnaire's subscale catastrophization was anticipated and supported prior research with this tool. The statistically significant relationships between subjects' appraisals of pain and their functional status were weaker than anticipated and may be attributed to validity problems with the Visual Analogue Scale. Duration since injury as a factor in the maintenance of physical dysfunction was not supported by statistical analyses. The expected positive relationship between the Coping Strategies Questionnaire's coping subscales was not supported by analysis and was consistent with some of the prior research conducted with this instrument. Results from the current study give support to Lazarus' theory of cognitive appraisal as a factor in illness and function.



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