The importance of measuring self-efficacy in patients with diabetes

Fam Pract. 2011 Feb;28(1):82-7. doi: 10.1093/fampra/cmq086. Epub 2010 Nov 3.


Objectives: Self-efficacy is an important factor influencing diabetes self-management behaviours. Previous studies have examined self-efficacy as a general measure in diabetes care for all self-care treatment recommendations together. This current study was designed to examine if low self-efficacy in each of the measured self-care treatment recommendations is related to decreased adherence for each specific recommendation.

Methods: The self-efficacy was measured in 119 patients for four different treatment recommendations: blood glucose self-monitoring, exercise, diet and oral medication intake and correlated with The Resistance to Treatment Questionnaire.

Results: Significant and positive Pearson's correlations were found between the frequency of adherence to treatment recommendations and the self-efficacy regarding different recommendations. The correlation between self-efficacy and diet and physical activity was 0.5 and 0.67, respectively. The higher the resistance to treatment score, the less confident the patient is in his or her ability to adhere with treatment recommendations. This pattern was not present in adherence to medication intake.

Conclusions: Self-efficacy impacts adherence to treatment and therefore plays a role in the clinical outcome. The practical implication is that assessment of self-efficacy in people with diabetes may be a first step in the development of individually tailored interventions.

MeSH terms

  • Blood Glucose Self-Monitoring
  • Diabetes Mellitus / psychology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / therapy
  • Diet, Diabetic
  • Exercise
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Israel
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Compliance / psychology*
  • Self Care / psychology*
  • Self Efficacy*