Coping With the Stress of a Painful Medical Procedure


Behaviour Research and Therapy




To evaluate its effect on procedure-related distress, the focus of attention was manipulated by providing training to hospitalized acute burn patients (N=42; average age 43.6 yrs). Participants were randomly assigned to attention focusing or music distraction coping interventions, or to usual care during the target dressing change. Coping behavior, tension and intrusiveness were evaluated 24 h retrospectively, during the targeted procedure, and 30 min after the target procedure. When coping during the target procedure by ignoring, reinterpreting, and catastrophizing were covaried, the music distraction group experienced significantly fewer intrusions, and the attention focus group had more intrusions. Additionally, secondary analyses revealed that coping by ignoring during the prior day's procedure significantly predicted higher procedural tension during, and more intrusions following, the targeted procedure. Suppression-based forms of emotion-focused coping may be enhanced by training in the use of an explicit distractor. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)

Music and Health Institute Terms

Burns; Coping; Distress; Hospital Setting; Hospitalized Patients; Mental Health; Music Listening; Music Medicine; Music as Distraction; Pain; Pain Management and Control; Patient Experience; Procedural Pain; Self-Report Measures; Stress; Tension; Wound Care; Wound Pain

Indexed Terms

music distraction; emotion-focused coping; attention focusing; medical procedures; pain; distress; mental control; suppression; Acute Disease; Adaptation, Psychological; Bandages; Burns; Pain Management; Pain Measurement; Single-Blind Method; Stress; Surveys and Questionnaires; Coping Behavior; Distraction; Suppression (Defense Mechanism); Attention

Study Type

Randomized Controlled Trial; Quantitative Methods

PubMed ID


Document Type