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An integrative review of self-efficacy and patient recovery post acute injury




To present an integrative literature review examining the relationship between self-efficacy and patient recovery post acute injury.


Self-efficacy is a belief in one's ability to perform a set of actions; the greater a person's confidence, the more likely they will initiate and continue activity that will produce a positive outcome in terms of recovery. Increasingly, research indicates that application of self-efficacy theory into clinical practice is likely to promote recovery in the rehabilitation setting. This review examines self-efficacy in the post acute injury group.


Integrative literature review.

Data sources

A database search was conducted in PSYCHINFO, MEDLINE and CINAHL between 1990–2012.

Review methods

Whittemore and Knafl's theoretical framework was used to guide the review in conjunction with a critical appraisal template. Findings from studies were extracted, critically examined and grouped into key themes under factors (interventions) and outcomes relating to self-efficacy.


Eighteen articles met the inclusion criteria. Level of education may be a significant factor related to self-efficacy. Educational, physical and psychological interventions to improve self-efficacy emerged, but few interventions led to significantly enhanced self-efficacy. Self-efficacy was found to influence outcomes, including pain and disability, adherence to discharge instructions, locomotion recovery and quality of life.


Interventions addressing the connection between physical and psychological health with respect to mood, emotion, stress, fear and anxiety to improve the psychological response to acute injury may enhance self-efficacy and patient recovery.

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