Factors associated with self-efficacy in persons with chronic illness
Change of lifestyle may be necessary for persons with chronic illnesses in order to manage their health situation and reduce symptom distress. Success in changing lifestyle partly depends on a person’s self-efficacy beliefs. This cross-sectional study explores social support, physical activity, and illness perceptions in relation to self-efficacy in a sample with morbid obesity and in a sample with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The linear regression analyses showed that higher physical activity and less emotional response to illness were directly associated with higher self-efficacy among persons with obesity, while more social support; fewer perceived consequences from illness; and more understanding of the illness were directly associated with higher self-efficacy among persons with COPD. The results indicate that obese persons are likely to benefit from increasing physical activity and from receiving emotional support. Persons with COPD may be empowered by being able to utilize cognitive coping strategies and by receiving social support.