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Table 1 Categorization of Brief COPE strategies (adapted from Carver [14] and Rice et al. [18])

From: How medical students cope with stress: a cross-sectional look at strategies and their sociodemographic antecedents

Adaptive Emotion-focused strategies
Acceptance Accepting the reality of a stressor and learning to live with it
Emotional support Getting moral support from others
Positive reframing Trying to view stressors in a different, positive light
Humour Using humour and making fun of the stressor
Religion Trying to find comfort in one’s religion or spiritual beliefs
Problem-focused strategies
Active coping Concentrating efforts on trying to make the situation better
Planning Thinking hard about strategies to manage the stressor
Instrumental support Trying to get advice or help from other people on what to do
Maladaptive Passive and/or avoidant strategies
Denial Refusing to believe or pushing the reality of a stressor away
Self-distraction Focusing on other things to take one’s mind off the stressor
Substance use Using alcohol or drugs to feel better and deal with the stress or
Behavioural disengagement Giving up trying to manage or cope with the stress or
Venting Focusing on and verbalizing negative feelings
Self-blame Criticizing and blaming oneself for what happened