Stroke survivors are at high risk for cardiovascular mortality which can be in part mitigated by increasing physical activity. Self-efficacy for exercise is known to play a role in adoption of exercise behaviors. This study examines self-reported psychological outcomes in a group of 64 stroke survivors randomized to either a 6-month treadmill training program or a stretching program. Results indicated that, regardless of group, all study participants experienced increased self-efficacy (F = 2.95, p = .09) and outcome expectations for exercise (F = 13.23, p < 0.001) and improvements in activities of daily living as reported on the Stroke Impact Scale (F = 10.97, p = .002). No statistically significant between-group differences were noted, possibly because of the fact that specific interventions designed to enhance efficacy beliefs were not part of the study. Theoretically based interventions should be tested to clarify the role of motivation and potential influence on exercise and physical activity in the stroke survivor population.
Kathleen Michael, PhD, is an assistant professor at the University of Maryland Baltimore School of Nursing, Baltimore, MD.
Barbara Resnick, PhD CRNP FAAN FAANP, is a professor at the University of Maryland Baltimore School of Nursing, Baltimore, MD.
Questions or comments about this article may be directed to Marianne Shaughnessy, PhD CRNP, at firstname.lastname@example.org. She is the associate director of education/evaluation at the Department of Veterans Affairs and Veterans Affairs Medical Center Baltimore Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center and University of Maryland Baltimore School of Nursing, Baltimore, MD.
The authors declare no conflicts of interest.