What is the best way to change self-efficacy to promote physical activity? A systematic review

Stefanie Williams, J. Edmunds, D.P. French

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


    Background: Evidence supports self-efficacy as an effective method to increase physical activity. This systematic review aims to describe strategies for increasing physical activity self-efficacy, and determine the most effective techniques. Methods: A search of three electronic databases identified 37 papers, describing 28 distinct intervention studies. Papers reporting lifestyle physical activity interventions with healthy adults were included. Multiple behaviour interventions and clinical or student populations were excluded. Findings: The most common strategies used were mastery experience, including self-monitoring (n=16) and feedback (n=12), and persuasion (n=18). Goal setting (n=17) and barrier identification (n=8) were also frequently used. Discussion: A reliable database of techniques to increase self-efficacy has been developed. This database will provide interventionists with examples of strategies to draw upon in the development of physical activity interventions, and allow an evidence base to be developed specifying which techniques are most effective in increasing self-efficacy and physical activity.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 2008

    Bibliographical note

    The full text of this item is not available from the repository. Paper presented at the 2008 British Psychological Society Division of Health Psychology/ European Health Psychology joint Annual Conference, held 09 September- 12 September 2008, Bath, UK. Please note Stephanie Williams was using the surname Ashford at the time of presentation.


    • systematic review
    • self-efficacy
    • behaviour change
    • health psychology
    • physical activity
    • exercise


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