Understanding pain and coping in women with interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome
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OBJECTIVES: To examine a self-regulation and coping model for interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome (IC/BPS) that may help us understand the pain experience of patients with chronic IC/BPS. PATIENTS AND METHODS: The model tested illness perceptions, illness-focused coping, emotional regulation, mental health and disability in a stepwise method using factor analysis and structural equation modelling. Step 1, explored the underlying constructs. Step 2, confirmed the measurement models to determine the structure/composition of the main constructs. Step 3, evaluated the model fit and specified pathways in the proposed IC/BPS self-regulation model. In all, 217 female patients with urologist diagnosed IC/BPS were recruited and diagnosed across tertiary care centres in North America. The data were collected through self-report questionnaires. RESULTS: An IC/BPS self-regulation model was supported. Physical disability was worsened by patient's negative perception of their illness, attempts to cope using illness-focused coping and poorer emotional regulation. Mental health was supported by perceptions that individuals could do something about their illness, using wellness-focused behavioural strategies and adaptive emotion regulation. CONCLUSIONS: The results clarify the complex and unique process of self-regulation in women with IC/BPS, implicating cognitive and coping targets, and highlighting emotional regulation. This knowledge should help clinicians understand and manage these patients' distress and disability.