Understanding The Role of Self-Efficacy and Social Support on Diet and Exercise Adherence to a Lifestyle Change Program
In the United States, an increase of chronic diseases such as cancer, obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, and diabetes have become epidemic. For these chronic health issues, both exercise and a well-balanced diet are readily known to help in disease management and prevention. The purpose of this study was to investigate the adherence to an 18-day lifestyle change program (LCP) that focused on teaching exercise and diet strategies to individuals with chronic diseases. Although both exercise and diet regimens have shown positive health benefits to individuals that maintain these regimens, researchers have found that compliance to these regimens is problematic. It is not well understood why individuals fail to maintain these regimens. Guided by Pender’s health promotion model, the role of social support and self-efficacy play in adherence of exercise and diet regimen was examined in this study. The study sample consisted of participants who were patients of a health center in Seale, Alabama that teaches individuals how to exercise and maintain a healthy diet in order to manage their chronic conditions. A cross-sectional survey was administered to 137 individuals (32.62% response rate). Self- efficacy and being Seventh-day Adventist were strongly associated with adherence to a vegan diet. For exercise, only self-efficacy was significantly associated with adherence. Findings of the investigation have considerable social significance, indicating that health programs with a focus on improving confidence towards obtaining change goals will probably be more effective. Implications for positive change include increasing the effectiveness of lifestyle change programs and reducing morbidity and mortality associated with chronic disease, resulting in a healthier and more productive society.
0680: Health education