Examining the cross-lagged relationship between different types of self-efficacies and physical activity in cardiac rehabilitation patients: A longitudinal study


Physical activity (PA) is at the core of cardiac rehabilitation. Therefore, it is important to identify factors that contribute to the adoption and maintenance of PA in this setting. Different types of self-efficacy are hypothesized to be important at different phases of the behaviour change process such that task self-efficacy might have more prominence in PA adoption while self-regulatory types (e.g. barrier self-efficacy) more importance for maintenance. In addition, self-efficacy is theorized as an antecedent and an outcome of behaviour. The purpose of this study was to examine, through a longitudinal cross-lagged analysis, the relationship between three different types of self-efficacy (task, barrier and scheduling) and PA over six months. We hoped to shed light on the antecedent-outcome relationship between self-efficacy and PA. Participants (N =129) from two 4-month cardiac rehabilitation programs answered self-efficacy questionnaires and the Godin leisure time exercise questionnaire at four time points (Baseline, 2, 4 and 6 months). Three separate cross-lagged path analyses were conducted for each type of self-efficacy. For task self-efficacy, PA at baseline predicted task self-efficacy at 2-months, beta=.186 [95% confidence intervals(CI): .050, 0.33], and PA at 4-months predicted task self-efficacy at 6-months, beta=.228(95% CI: 0.097, 0.24). Only PA at baseline predicted barrier self-efficacy at 2-months, beta=.204(95% CI: 0.067, 0.35). No other relationships were found. Unfortunately, results from this study do not clarify the phase specific PA – self-efficacy relationship as no types of self-efficacy predicted PA. In addition, partial support for self-efficacy as an outcome of PA was found; however, further investigation is required.

Acknowledgments: The project was funded by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada.