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Discrepancy between Radiographic Damage and Functional Disability in Elderly People with Osteoarthritis: The Role of Pain Coping Strategies

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 January 2013

Maria Izal
Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (Spain)
Almudena López-López*
Universidad Rey Juan Carlos (Spain)
Ignacio Montorio
Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (Spain)
José Luis González
Universidad Rey Juan Carlos (Spain)
Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Almudena López López. Departamento de Psicología. Facultad de Ciencias de la Salud. Universidad Rey Juan Carlos. Avda. Atenas s/n, 28922 Alcorcón. Madrid. (Spain). Phone: +34-914889021. Fax: +34-914888956. E-Mail:


The aim of this study is twofold. First, to assess the level of agreement between radiographic damage and functional disability in older people with osteoarthritis. And second, to assess the role of coping skills and sensory pain parameters as sources of disagreement between these variables. To achieve this objective we assess, in a sample of 104 older people with osteoarthritis, the following variables: functional capacity, radiographic damage, pain coping strategies, pain intensity, pain frequency and pain duration. The results show a non-linear relationship between radiographic damage and functional disability, modified by the levels of the two variables. There was maximum agreement between low levels of radiographic damage and of functional impairment, whilst agreement decreased for moderate and high levels of radiographic damage. Certain coping strategies may help to explain this disparity.

El presente trabajo persigue un doble objetivo. Primero, evaluar el grado de concordancia entre el deterioro radiológico y el nivel de capacidad funcional en las personas mayores con artrosis. En segundo lugar, analizar las fuentes de disparidad de tal concordancia, para lo que se estudia el papel de los parámetros sensoriales del dolor y de las estrategias de afrontamiento ante el mismo. Para ello se evaluaron, en una muestra de 104 personas mayores con artrosis, la capacidad funcional, el grado de deterioro físico -afectación radiológica-, las estrategias de afrontamiento al dolor y los parámetros sensoriales del dolor de intensidad, frecuencia y duración. Los resultados mostraron que la relación entre el deterioro radiológico y funcional no varía linealmente, sino que depende de los niveles de ambas variables, existiendo una concordancia máxima entre niveles bajos de deterioro funcional y de deterioro radiológico, mientras que disminuye para niveles moderados o elevados de deterioro radiológico. Ciertas estrategias cognitivas y conductuales de afrontamiento evaluadas parecen ayudar a explicar tal disparidad.

Research Article
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2010

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