Changes in Self-Efficacy and Decisional Balance for Exercise among Obese Women in a Weight Management Program


The Miriam Hospital, 164 Summit Avenue, Providence, RI 02906. E-mail:


PINTO, BERNARDINE M., MATTHEW W. CLARK, DEAN G. CRUESS, LYNDA SZYMANSKI, AND VINCENT PERA. Changes in self-efficacy and decisional balance for exercise among obese women in a weight management program. Obes Res.

Objective: To assess changes in eating and exercise self-efficacy and decisional balance for exercise in an obese population enrolled in a multi-disciplinary weight management program.

Research Method and Procedures: Thirty-two obese women were assessed at entry and after 12 weeks of treatment.

Results: Participants showed 15% mean weight loss after 12 weeks of treatment. Mean minutes of self-reported exercise increased by 229%. Participants demonstrated significant improvements in self-efficacy for both eating and exercise and health parameters but not in decisional balance for exercise adoption.

Discussion: These results may have implications for the practitioner in that self-efficacy changes occur during successful weight loss, but decisional balance for exercise may not change until individuals enter maintenance. These results imply that practitioners may be advised to shift from confidence building to relapse prevention early on in treatment, and that focusing on strengthening the pros of exercise and reducing the cons of exercise may need to remain constant during treatment.