impact factor

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Self-forgiveness in fibromyalgia patients and its relationship with acceptance, catastrophising and coping

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6


  1. Department of Clinical Psychology, National Distance Education University (UNED), Madrid, Spain.
  2. Department of Clinical Psychology, National Distance Education University (UNED), Madrid, Spain.
  3. Rheumatology Unit, Rehabilitation Institute, University General Hospital “Gregorio Marañón”, Madrid, Spain.
  4. Gasteiner Heilstollen Hospital, Bad Gastein-Böckstein, Austria.
  5. Katholieke University Leuven, Belgium.
  6. Department of Psychology, Luther College, Decorah, IA, USA.

2020 Vol.38, N°1 ,Suppl.123
PI 0079, PF 0085
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PMID: 32116214 [PubMed]

Received: 26/01/2020
Accepted : 06/02/2020
In Press: 12/02/2020
Published: 21/02/2020


Forgiveness influences health through numerous mechanisms, but commonly it is thought to reduce stress, increase healthy behaviour, and promote social support, thereby positively impacting health and wellbeing. Self-forgiveness has been given considerable attention in relation to health and wellbeing. Fibromyalgia (FM) patients had lower forgiveness of others and self-forgiveness as compared to controls. The aim of this study is to explore the relationship of self-forgiveness (FS) with the impact and severity of FM, acceptance, catastrophising, and coping.
We evaluated 228 FM female patients who completed the Mauger Forgiveness Scale, the Combined Index of Severity in Fibromyalgia (ICAF) survey, the Chronic Pain Acceptance Questionnaire (CPAQ), and the Pain Catastrophising Scale (PCS).
High self-forgiveness is related to high levels of active coping (r=.41) and acceptation (r=.38), and low self-forgiveness is related to emotional negative factors and catastrophising (r=-.56). Two factors (physical and emotional) were obtained. Lower FS is an emotional factor with negative emotion, catastrophising and a deficit in active coping. A decision-tree analysis showed a first node with ICAF Emotional scores and a second level with CPAQ and PCS scores as predictors.
A notable lack of FS indicates a problem (distress and catastrophising) with the health aspects related to this syndrome. Acceptance could require a low negative emotional status. People with high FS were likely to increase acceptation as the positive component of acceptance in FS. This finding does not indicate an interest in maintaining problematic behaviours.

Rheumatology Article