Objective: This study was aimed at identifying the stages of exercise behaviour changes experienced by patients with chronic illnesses and the relationship with their exercise self-efficacy.
Method: The patients attending the Medical clinics at the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI), Jamaica, with chronic illnesses were studied. The data were collected using three questionnaires.
Result: There were 75 females and 25 males. Fifty-one per cent of the patients were in the contemplation stage of exercise behaviour changes and 29% in the maintenance stage. The majority (61%) were non-adopters and 39% were adopters (action and maintenance) with 37% of the females adopters compared to 44% of the males. The mean self-efficacy scores of subjects in stages four and five were significantly higher than those in stage two (contemplation). The highest level of adopters was in the 18 to 30-year age group. In the patients with one chronic condition, there were 55% non-adapters among the patients with one chronic condition compared to 71% of those with more than one condition.
Conclusion: Most patients with chronic disorders were in the contemplation stage and their self-efficacy scores were greater for those in the action and maintenance stages. Health practitioners need to increase the efforts to encourage physical activities particularly in the earlystages of behaviour changes.