Efficacy and Effectiveness of Integrating Forgiveness into Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Breast Cancer Patients’ Adjustment: A Preliminary Randomized Trial

A. Montazer , M. Salehzadeh , M. Nasirian


Objective: A large number of women with breast cancer experience psychological distress during the course of diagnosis and treatment. Forgiveness as well as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) are two programs that appear to be relatively efficacious in reducing psychological problems of these patients. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of incorporating forgiveness to acceptance-based strategies on psychological adjustment of breast cancer patients.

Methods: The data of current study came from 29 patients suffered from breast cancer who randomly distributed into two groups of treatment and control. All the participants were in stage 0-II of breast cancer and completed their breast surgery. Moreover, they completed Bell Adjustment Inventory before and after the intervention. The treatment group received the therapy over a 12-week period.

Results: Based on the findings, the therapy included forgiveness and acceptance-based strategies could meditate social and emotional psychological problems of cancer patients significantly (p<0.05). The effect size of the intervention was in the moderate range. However, no significant difference was found in home adjustment.

Conclusion: These preliminary findings suggested that incorporating forgiveness to acceptance-based strategies had a positive effect on psychological adjustment of breast cancer patients.

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