Quality of Life Research

, Volume 26, Issue 9, pp 2449–2457 | Cite as

Gratitude mediates quality of life differences between fibromyalgia patients and healthy controls

  • Loren Toussaint
  • Fuschia Sirois
  • Jameson Hirsch
  • Annemarie Weber
  • Christian Vajda
  • Jorg Schelling
  • Niko Kohls
  • Martin Offenbacher
Article

Abstract

Purpose

Despite a growing literature on the benefits of gratitude for adjustment to chronic illness, little is known about gratitude in medical populations compared to healthy populations, or the degree to which potential deficits in gratitude might impact quality of life. The purpose of the present study was to (1) examine levels of gratitude and quality of life in fibromyalgia patients and healthy controls and (2) consider the role of gratitude in explaining quality of life differences between fibromyalgia patients and healthy controls.

Methods

Participants were 173 fibromyalgia patients and 81 healthy controls. All participants completed measures of gratitude, quality of life, and socio-demographics.

Results

Although gratitude was positively associated with quality of life, levels of gratitude and quality of life were lower in the fibromyalgia sample relative to the healthy controls. This difference in gratitude partially mediated differences in quality of life between the two groups after controlling for socio-demographic variables.

Conclusions

Our findings suggest that gratitude is a valuable positive psychological trait for quality of life in people with fibromyalgia. Interventions to improve gratitude in this patient population may also bring enhancement in quality of life.

Keywords

Gratitude Fibromyalgia Quality of life Adjustment Chronic illness 

Notes

Funding

This research was supported in part by a Grant from the Friedrich Baur Foundation.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

All authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Luther CollegeDecorahUSA
  2. 2.University of SheffieldSheffieldUK
  3. 3.East Tennessee State UniversityJohnson CityUSA
  4. 4.Coburg UniversityCoburgGermany
  5. 5.Medical University of GrazGrazAustria
  6. 6.University of MunichMunichGermany

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