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Randomized Controlled Trial
. May-Jun 2016;36(3):186-94.
doi: 10.1097/HCR.0000000000000170.

Correlates of Exercise Self-efficacy in a Randomized Trial of Mind-Body Exercise in Patients With Chronic Heart Failure

Free PMC article
Randomized Controlled Trial

Correlates of Exercise Self-efficacy in a Randomized Trial of Mind-Body Exercise in Patients With Chronic Heart Failure

Gloria Y Yeh et al. J Cardiopulm Rehabil Prev. .
Free PMC article


Purpose: Exercise self-efficacy is one of the strongest predictors of physical activity behavior. Prior literature suggests that tai chi, a mind-body exercise, may increase self-efficacy; however, this is not extensively studied. Little is known about the factors associated with development of exercise self-efficacy in a population with heart failure.

Methods: We utilized data from a randomized controlled trial of 12 weeks of group tai chi classes versus education in patients with chronic heart failure (n = 100). Multivariable linear regression was used to explore possible correlates of change in exercise self-efficacy in the entire sample and in the subgroup who received tai chi (n = 50). Covariates included baseline quality of life, social support, functional parameters, physical activity, serum biomarkers, sociodemographics, and clinical heart failure parameters.

Results: Baseline 6-minute walk (β=-0.0003, SE = 0.0001, P = .02) and fatigue score (β= 0.03, SE = 0.01, P = .004) were significantly associated with change in self-efficacy, with those in the lowest tertile for 6-minute walk and higher tertiles for fatigue score experiencing the greatest change. Intervention group assignment was highly significant, with self-efficacy significantly improved in the tai chi group compared to the education control over 12 weeks (β= 0.39, SE = 0.11, P < .001). In the tai chi group alone, lower baseline oxygen uptake (β=-0.05, SE = 0.01, P = .001), decreased mood (β=-0.01, SE = 0.003, P = .004), and higher catecholamine level (epinephrine β= 0.003, SE = 0.001, P = .005) were significantly associated with improvements in self-efficacy.

Conclusions: In this exploratory analysis, our initial findings support the concept that interventions like tai chi may be beneficial in improving exercise self-efficacy, especially in patients with heart failure who are deconditioned, with lower functional status and mood.

Conflict of interest statement

Conflict of Interest: Peter Wayne is the founder and sole owner of the Tree of Life Tai Chi Center. Dr. Wayne’s interests were reviewed and are managed by the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Partners HealthCare in accordance with their conflict of interest policy.


Figure 1
Figure 1
Effects of Tai Chi on Change in Exercise Self-Efficacy across Tertiles of Baseline Fatigue and 6-Minute Walk

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