Effect of self-efficacy and physical activity goal achievement on arthritis pain and quality of life in patients with rheumatoid arthritis

Authors


Abstract

Objective

To examine physical activity and achievement of physical activity goals in relation to self-reported pain and quality of life among patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Methods

At baseline, 271 patients with RA were asked to specify a physical activity goal, and filled in questionnaires assessing physical activity, motivation, and self-efficacy for physical activity, arthritis pain, and quality of life. Six months later, patients indicated to what extent they had achieved their baseline physical activity goal and completed the same set of questionnaires. These data were used to construct multiple mediation models that placed physical activity and physical activity goal achievement as mediators between self-efficacy and motivation on one hand, and arthritis pain and quality of life on the other.

Results

A total of 106 patients with RA completed both questionnaires. Self-efficacy at baseline predicted subsequent level of physical activity and achievement of physical activity goals. Goal achievement had a direct effect upon quality of life outcomes. Bootstrapping confidence intervals revealed indirect effects of self-efficacy upon arthritis pain and quality of life through goal achievement, but not through physical activity.

Conclusion

Higher levels of self-efficacy for physical activity increase the likelihood that patients will achieve their physical activity goals. Achievement of physical activity goals seems to be related to lower self-reported arthritis pain, and higher levels of quality of life. In practice, clinicians can foster self-efficacy and goal achievement by assisting patients in setting realistic and attainable exercise goals, developing action plans, and by providing feedback on goal progress.

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