Background. The relationship between coping styles and mental disorders has received considerable attention and instruments have been developed to assess coping strategies. The measurement by means of category systems has been criticized and a functional hierarchy of action types linked to the adaptive processes is preferred. We aimed to determine which factors may exist within the Brief-COPE (Brief Coping Orientation to Problems Experienced – COPE – Inventory) in an Italian sample of patients with anxiety disorders; and if these factors correlate with the severity of psychopathology or with other characteristics. Methods. A total sample of 148 patients was recruited. The Brief-COPE inventory, the Symptom Check List 90-Revised, the Penn State Worry Questionnaire, the Zung Anxiety Status Inventory and the Zung Self-Rating Anxiety Scale were administered. Results. Factor analysis of the Brief-COPE yielded nine factors accounting for 65.48% of the variance. Patients scored higher on Searching Support, followed by Acceptance, Changing Perspective, and Problem Solving. Associations between measures of psychopathology and factors of coping strategies, mostly Searching support and Avoidance, were found. Conclusions. Data of the present study support a nine-factor structure of the Brief-COPE that includes five broad dimensions of coping. Psychopathology was mostly related to Searching support and Avoidance factors, showing that these strategies may reflect ineffective ways of coping; Problem solving and Changing perspective could be a valid approach to moderate anxiety/depression symptoms and psychopathology in general.