Annals of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 34, Issue 3, pp 323–328 | Cite as

Explaining physical activity levels from a self-efficacy perspective: the physical activity counseling trial

  • Chris M. Blanchard
  • Michelle Fortier
  • Shane Sweet
  • Tracey O’Sullivan
  • William Hogg
  • Robert D. Reid
  • Ronald J. Sigal


Background: The Physical Activity Counseling (PAC) trial compared the effects of a 13-week primary care physical activity (PA) intervention that incorporated a PA counselor into a health care practice compared to a control condition on PA over a 25-week period and showed group differences in PA were present at 6 and 13 weeks.Purpose: The main purpose was to examine the mediating effect of 6-week task and barrier self-efficacy on the intervention versus control group/13-week PA relationships. A secondary purpose was to determine whether task and barrier self-efficacy were significantly related to PA throughout the trial for both groups.Method: Participants were primarily sedentary individuals who received a 2- to 4-min PA intervention from their primary care provider, after which they were randomly assigned to the intervention (n=61) or control condition (n=59). Self-reported PA and task (barrier) self-efficacy measures were obtained during (i.e., baseline, 6 and 13 weeks) and after (i.e., 19 and 25 weeks) the intervention in both groups.Results: Six-week task and barrier self-efficacy had a small mediating effect. Furthermore, barrier self-efficacy had a significant relationship with PA throughout the trial, whereas the relationship between task self-efficacy and PA became significantly weaker as the trial progressed.Conclusions: PAC interventions among primarily sedentary individuals should be partly based on barrier and task self-efficacy. However, the stability of the task self-efficacy/PA relationship needs further examination.


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Copyright information

© The Society of Behavioral Medicine 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chris M. Blanchard
    • 1
  • Michelle Fortier
    • 2
  • Shane Sweet
    • 3
  • Tracey O’Sullivan
    • 4
  • William Hogg
    • 5
  • Robert D. Reid
    • 6
  • Ronald J. Sigal
    • 7
  1. 1.Department of Medicine, QEII Health Sciences Centre, Centre for Clinical ResearchDalhousie UniversityNova ScotiaCanada
  2. 2.School of Human Kinetics and School of PsychologyUniversity of OttawaCanada
  3. 3.School of PsychologyUniversity of OttawaCanada
  4. 4.Institute of Population Health and Faculty of Health SciencesUniversity of OttawaCanada
  5. 5.Department of Family MedicineUniversity of Ottawa, CT Lamont Centre, and Élizabeth Bruyère Health CentreCanada
  6. 6.Ottawa Heart InstitutePrevention and RehabilitationCanada
  7. 7.University of CalgaryCanada

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