Tibbits, D., Ellis, G., Piramelli, C., Luskin, F., & Lukman, R. (2006). Hypertension reduction through forgiveness training. Journal of Pastoral Care and Counseling. 60(1-2):27-34.
The objective of this study was to determine if patients with diagnosed stage-1 hypertension could benefit by a forgiveness training program to achieve measurable reductions in anger expression and blood pressure. Twenty-five participants were randomly divided into wait-listed control and intervention groups. The control group monitored blood pressure while the intervention group participated in an 8-week forgiveness training program. At the end of eight weeks, the waitlisted group became an intervention group. Those who received forgiveness training achieved significant reductions in anger expression when compared to the control group. While reductions in blood pressure were not achieved by all the participants, those participants who entered the program with elevated anger expression scores did achieve significant reductions in blood pressure. It is suggested that forgiveness training may be an effective clinical intervention for some hypertensive patients with elevated levels of anger.