The Influence of General and Exercise Specific Social Support on Self-Efficacy for Overcoming Barriers to Cardiac Rehabilitation


  • This research was supported by a grant awarded to Wendy M. Rodgers from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. The authors thank Bill Daub at the Northern Alberta Cardiac Rehabilitation Program for assistance on this study. Shawn N. Fraser was supported by a doctoral dissertation fellowship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

Shawn N. Fraser, who is now at the Centre for Nursing and Health Studies, Athabasca University, Athabasca, Alberta, Canada T9S 3A3. E-mail:


Self-efficacy (SE) for overcoming barriers to exercise is key to continued exercise behavior in cardiac rehabilitation (CR). This study examined factors influencing patients' SE for overcoming barriers to exercise in CR. It was hypothesized that stress after a cardiac event would have a negative impact on SE, but that social support would be related to less stress and more SE. Measures of SE for overcoming barriers to exercise in CR, perceived stress, general forms of social support, and sources of support for exercise were completed by 459 men and 138 women upon entry into CR. Structural equation modeling revealed that general support was related to less stress and more support for exercise, which were both related to increased SE.