Using self-efficacy theory to develop interventions that help older people overcome psychological barriers to physical activity: a discussion paper

Ling-Ling Lee, Antony Arthur, Mark Avis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

186 Citations (Scopus)


Only a fifth of older people undertake a level of physical activity sufficient to lead to health benefit. Misconceptions about the ageing process and beliefs about the costs and benefits of exercise in late life may result in unnecessary self-imposed activity restriction. Thus, adhering to a physical activity can be difficult particularly when the benefits of exercise are often not immediate. Many of the barriers to engaging in physical activity among older people are attitudinal. It is therefore important to take account of the non-physical aspects of physical activity intervention programmes, such as increasing confidence. Self-efficacy is a widely applied theory used to understand health behaviour and facilitate behavioural modification, such as the increase of physical activity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1690-9
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Nursing Studies
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2008


  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Aged
  • Attitude to Health
  • Exercise
  • Geriatric Nursing
  • Health Behavior
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Health Promotion
  • Health Services Needs and Demand
  • Helping Behavior
  • Humans
  • Nurse's Role
  • Nurse-Patient Relations
  • Nursing Research
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Physical Fitness
  • Psychological Theory
  • Self Care
  • Self Efficacy
  • Social Support

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