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Ethiop J Health Sci. 2012 Jul;22(2):113-9.

Comparative influence of self-efficacy, social support and perceived barriers on low physical activity development in patients with type 2 diabetes, hypertension or stroke.

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  • 1Department of Physiotherapy, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria.



Type 2 Diabetes, hypertension and stroke are strongly linked, and patients with any of these disorders are usually advised to be physically active based on existing evidence. However, different psychosocial constructs are found in separate settings to influence the physical activity levels of these different groups of patients. Hence, there is a need to establish the most important of the constructs to influence low physical activity in these groups of patients from Nigeria.


This cross-sectional study included 509 participants aged 35-80 years from randomly selected health facilities in South-western Nigeria. Physical activity level, self-efficacy, social support and perceived barriers of the participants were assessed using the International Physical Activity Questionnaire, Exercise Self-Efficacy Scale, Medical Outcomes Social Support Scale and Exercise Benefits and Barrier Scale, respectively.


The odds of having low physical activity was highest in those with low social support for Type 2 Diabetes (OR=3.95, 95% CI=3.13-5.24), stroke (OR=2.72, 95% CI=1.98-3.91) and mixed disorders (OR=1.59, 95% CI=1.19-3.15) while high perceived barriers was associated with the highest odds (OR=1.79, 95% CI=1.23-2.87) for low physical activity in hypertensive participants.


Low social support had the highest influence in establishing low physical activity in patients with Type 2 Diabetes, stroke and those with mixed disorders and the amount of influence was highest in those with Type 2 Diabetes. Psychosocial constructs should be considered by giving priority to social support when prescribing physical activity especially for patients with Type 2 Diabetes, stroke and those with mixed disorders.


Physical activity; diabetes; hypertension; psychosocial influences; stroke

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