Date of Award


Document Type

Doctoral Research Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



First Advisor

Victoria Follette

Second Advisor

Anthony LoGalbo

Third Advisor

Catherine Nicholson

Fourth Advisor

Lisa Steelman


Prior research has attempted to identify links between trauma and chronic illness, specifically, Fibromyalgia (FM). Due to the lack of understanding of the etiology of FM and the high reports of trauma and stress and FM, many have theorized there is a connection. There is minimal literature on an individual’s perception of their FM and their willingness to engage in value based behavior. The idea of value based behavior is founded on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and the mindfulness strategies meant to increase psychological flexibility and living a life according to one’s values. The current research evaluated patients with FM and their perceptions of their illness, stress, psychological factors and ability and willingness to engage in values. Moreover, the current study discussed the correlations between the aforementioned factors and how FM impacts them, as well. It was hypothesized that those who experience more significant symptoms of FM will have less acceptance of their pain, experience higher levels of perceived stress and more significant psychological symptoms. Depression, stress, and FM impact were all possibility correlated, supporting the hypothesis that symptoms and functional impact of FM were associated with higher levels of depressions and stress. This is consistent with the literature and supports the need for psychological intervention for individuals suffering the chronic and debilitating disease of FM. However, there was no relationship between FM impact scores and valued living in the last month.