Change in Explicit and Implicit Motivation Toward Physical Activity and Sedentary Behavior in Pulmonary Rehabilitation and Associations With Postrehabilitation Behaviors

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Objective: The aim of this study was twofold: (a) to determine whether Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) variables and implicit attitudes toward physical activity and sedentary behavior would change during a 5-week pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) program, and (b) to investigate the relationships between behavioral intentions, implicit attitudes, physical activity, and sedentary behavior in postrehabilitation. Design: Out of 142 patients with respiratory disease included in this study, 119 completed 2 questionnaires measuring TPB variables with regard to physical activity and sedentary behavior, and an Implicit Association Test (IAT) measuring implicit attitudes toward physical activity in contrast to sedentary behavior. The TPB questionnaires and the IAT were administered at the beginning (Time 1) and the end of the program (Time 2). Six months after the program (Time 3), 62 patients provided self-reported measures of their recreational physical activity and screen-based, leisure-time sedentary behavior. Results: Over the course of pulmonary rehabilitation, perceived behavioral control and intentions toward physical activity increased, as did social norms and perceived behavioral control toward sedentary behavior; implicit attitudes were also more positive toward physical activity. Implicit attitudes at the end of PR (Time 2) were significantly associated with postrehabilitation physical activity (Time 3). Conclusions: TPB variables toward physical activity and sedentary behavior as well as implicit attitudes were enhanced during PR. At 6 months, implicit attitudes were significantly associated with physical activity. These results suggest that motivation, particularly implicit attitudes, should be targeted in future behavioral interventions in order to optimize the effects of rehabilitation on physical activity maintenance.

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