OBJECTIVE: To examine the association between socioeconomic position and coping strategies in musculoskeletal pain. DESIGN AND SUBJECTS: Cross-sectional study of a random sample of 40- and 50-year-old Danes, participation rate 69%, n=7,125. The study included 1,287 persons who reported functional limitations due to musculoskeletal pain. METHODS: Data was collected by postal questionnaires and scales were developed on problem-solving coping and avoidant coping, based on a range of preliminary studies. Multivariate logistic regression analyses was used to study the correlation with socioeconomic position, measured by occupational social class. RESULTS: Among women, there was no correlation between social class and avoidant coping, but a significant decrease in the use of problem-solving coping by decreasing social class, adjusted odds ratio (OR) = 2.64 (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.31-5.32) in social class V vs social classes I + II. Among men, there was no correlation between social class and problem-solving coping, but a significant increase in the use of avoidant coping with decreasing social class, adjusted OR = 3.31 (95% CI 1.75-6.25) in V vs I + II. CONCLUSION: It is important for clinicians who advise and support patients in their response to musculoskeletal pain to be aware of socioeconomic differences in coping strategies. Gender differences in the association between socioeconomic factors and coping should be further investigated.
Keywords: Activities of Daily Living; Adaptation, Psychological; Adult; Cross-Sectional Studies; Female; Humans; Male; Middle Aged; Musculoskeletal Diseases; Occupational Exposure; Pain; Problem Solving; Questionnaires; Social Class; Socioeconomic Factors; Stress, Psychological