Reduce anger-induced heart failure
Psychology and Health, 2009
Type of paper: Primary Empirical Study
Sample size: 32
Open Access: No
This research assesses the effects of a psychology of forgiveness pilot study on anger-recall stress induced changes in myocardial perfusion, forgiveness and related variables. Thirty-two patients were administered baseline rest and anger-recall stress imaging studies, and 17 of these participants who demonstrated anger-recall stress induced myocardial perfusion defects (forgiveness group, n 1⁄4 9; control group, n 1⁄4 8) were randomly assigned to a series of 10 weekly interpersonal forgiveness or control therapy sessions with a trained psychologist, and underwent additional anger-recall stress myocardial perfusion nuclear imaging studies post-test and at 10-week follow-up. Patients assigned to the forgiveness group showed significantly fewer anger-recall induced myocardial perfusion defects from pre-test to the 10-week follow-up as well as significantly greater gains in forgiveness from pre-test to post-test and from pre-test to follow- up compared to the control group. Forgiveness intervention may be an effective means of reducing anger-induced myocardial ischemia in patients with coronary artery disease.