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J Health Care Chaplain. 2010;16(3-4):123-39. doi: 10.1080/08854726.2010.492713.

Implications of forgiveness enhancement in patients with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome.

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Department of Psychology, Luther College, Decorah, Iowa 52101, USA.


The purpose of this review is to examine forgiveness as a means to enhance coping with the emotional sequelae of two disorders, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. As with many chronic illnesses, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue often result in a host of negative emotions including, anger, stress, fear, and depression. We contend that learning to become more forgiving may be a complementary treatment to cope with the ongoing stress, frustration, and negative emotions that result from these two conditions. Our review includes descriptive information on fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue, a brief review of the literature on anger and its influence on health, a review of the connections between forgiveness and well-being, and methods to enhance forgiveness in patients' lives. We conclude with a conceptual model that we hope will be useful to design and/or evaluate work on forgiveness in these patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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