Self-efficacy Mediates the Relationship Between Motivation and Physical Activity in Patients With Heart Failure

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Motivation is necessary in patients with heart failure (HF) who are attempting to become more physically active but may not be sufficient to initiate physical activity. Self-efficacy might explain the relationship between motivation and physical activity.


The aim of this study was to examine the role of exercise self-efficacy in the relationship between exercise motivation and physical activity in patients with HF.


A total of 100 stable patients with HF (88% in New York Heart Association class II/III; mean age, 67 ± 13 years; 62% men) were studied. Self-efficacy was measured with the Exercise Self-Efficacy Scale; motivation, with the Exercise Motivation Index; and physical activity, with a self-report questionnaire. Logistic regression analyses were made to examine the mediation effect of exercise self-efficacy on the relationship between exercise motivation and physical activity.


Forty-two percent of the 100 patients reported engaging in less than 60 minutes per week of physical activity. Motivation predicted physical activity (b = 0.58, P < .05), but after controlling for self-efficacy, the relationship between motivation and physical activity was no longer significant (b = 0.76, P = .06), indicating full mediation.


Motivation to be physically active is important but not sufficient. In addition to a high level of motivation to be physically active, it is important that patients with HF have a high degree of self-efficacy.

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