Self-Efficacy Tied to Achieving Physical Activity Goals in RA

Achieving physical activity goals lowers pain and increases quality of life in rheumatoid arthritis

MONDAY, Aug. 29 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) having self-efficacy at baseline is tied to achieving physical activity goals, which has a direct effect on uality of life, according to a study published online Aug. 25 in Arthritis Care & Research.

Keegan P. Knittle, from Leiden University in the Netherlands, and colleagues investigated the correlation between physical activity, achievement of physical activity goals, and self-reported pain and quality of life in 271 patients with RA who were asked to specify a physical activity goal and to fill out questionnaires assessing physical activity, motivation, and self-efficacy for physical activity, arthritis pain, and quality of life. After six months, the participants completed the same questionnaires and reported the extent to which their physical activity goal was achieved. Multiple mediation models, which 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, were constructed with the data.

The investigators found that 106 participants completed both sets of questionnaires. The subsequent level of physical activity and achievement of physical activity goals was predicted by self-efficacy at baseline. Goal achievement directly affected the quality-of-life outcomes. Based on bootstrapping confidence intervals, the indirect effects of self-efficacy on quality of life and arthritis pain were manifested through goal achievement, and not through physical activity.

"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," the authors write.

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