Objective: Perceptions of mastery and self-efficacy may be related to better outcomes in pulmonary rehabilitation in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). This study examined (1) whether patients with COPD improved during a rehabilitation programme with respect to quality of life (QoL) and perceptions of self-efficacy and mastery, and (2) whether increased perceptions of mastery and self-efficacy contributed to a higher QoL after rehabilitation.
Methods: Thirty-nine consecutive COPD patients (aged 60.5 +/- 9.0) were included from a rehabilitation centre and completed self-report questionnaires assessing symptoms, QoL, and perceptions of personal control.
Results: COPD patients improved during rehabilitation in overall QoL and self-efficacy, although no significant changes were found in QoL domains and mastery. Changes in self-efficacy during rehabilitation contributed to the explanation of the social and psychological functioning QoL domains.
Conclusion: Even in seriously impaired COPD patients in advanced stages of illness, positive changes in self-efficacy and overall well-being can be established during rehabilitation. Changes in self-efficacy were related to a better QoL, suggesting the importance of personal control in the adjustment to COPD.
Practice implications: Focussing more explicitly on the enhancement of perceptions of personal control in COPD patients may be an important aim of pulmonary rehabilitation.