Exercise self-efficacy is weakly related to engagement in physical activity in persons with long-standing spinal cord injury

Hedwig Kooijmans*, Marcel Post, Ehsan Motazedi, Dorien Spijkerman, Helma Bongers-Janssen, Henk Stam, Hans Bussman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Aims: Many people with a long-standing spinal cord injury have an inactive lifestyle. Although exercise self-efficacy is considered a key determinant of engaging in exercise, the relationship between exercise self-efficacy and physical activity remains unclear. Therefore, this study examines the relationship between exercise self-efficacy and the amount of physical activity in persons with long-standing spinal cord injury. Methods: This cross-sectional study included 268 individuals (aged 28–65 years) with spinal cord injury ≥ 10 years and using a wheelchair. Physical activity was measured with the Physical Activity Scale for Individuals with Physical Disabilities. Exercise self-efficacy was assessed with the Spinal cord injury Exercise Self-Efficacy Scale. Univariate and multivariable regression analyses were performed to test for the association between exercise self-efficacy and physical activity, controlling for supposed confounders. Results: Univariate regression analysis revealed that exercise self-efficacy was significantly related to the level of daily physical activity (β = 0.05; 95% CI 0.04–0.07; 15% explained variance; p < 0.001). In multivariable regression analysis exercise self-efficacy remained, explaining a significant additional amount of the variance (2%; p < 0.001) of physical activity. Conclusion: Exercise-self efficacy is a weak but independent explanatory factor of the level of physical activity among persons with long-standing spinal cord injury. Longitudinal trials are needed to study the impact of interventions targeting an increase of exercise self-efficacy on the amount of physical activity performed.Implications for rehabilitation Pre-intervention levels of exercise-self-efficacy might mediate the effectiveness of interventions that aim at increasing physical activities in people with a long-standing spinal cord injury. Enhancing exercise-self efficacy may improve levels of physical activity, even in people with a long-standing spinal cord injury. When it comes to enhancing physical activity, efforts to enhance non-structured daily physical activities such as household activities and gardening might be as important as efforts to enhance sports and other physical exercise.

Original languageEnglish
JournalDisability and Rehabilitation
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 24 Mar 2019

Keywords

  • behavioural model
  • exercise
  • physical activity
  • self-efficacy
  • Spinal cord injury

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