Psychometric Validation of the Brief-COPE Scale in a Sample of Individuals with Multiple Sclerosis: A Brief Report

Kanako Iwanaga, Phillip Rumrill, Christine A. Reid, Allison Thomas, Christopher C. Wagner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


People with multiple sclerosis (MS) must often cope with high levels of stress, especially during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The Brief-COPE is commonly used to assess how individuals use different coping strategies to deal with stressful life situations, but its application with people who have MS has not been validated. The purpose of this study was to assess the measurement structure and psychometric properties of the Brief-COPE in a sample of community-dwelling adults with multiple sclerosis, using exploratory factor analysis. Results revealed a three-factor measurement structure: (a) flexible coping, (b) succumbing coping, and (c) substance use coping. Correlations among these three factors and external measures of related concepts provided evidence of the validity of these factors. The Brief-COPE can be incorporated in rehabilitation counseling, mental health, and health care settings to assess coping strategies, assisting people with MS with managing stressful life events during and after the pandemic. Rehabilitation and health researchers can use it to assess the effectiveness of psychosocial interventions aimed to improve coping abilities and mental health of people with MS.

Original languageEnglish
JournalRehabilitation Counseling Bulletin
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Hammill Institute on Disabilities 2022.


  • COVID-19 pandemic
  • coping
  • exploratory factor analysis
  • perceived stress
  • psychometric validation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Applied Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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