Determinants of clients’ efficacy in their interventionists and effects on self-perceptions for exercise in cardiac rehabilitation.
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OBJECTIVE: To examine characteristics of client-interventionist interactions that may contribute to development of exercise-related efficacy beliefs of cardiac rehabilitation (CR) participants. PARTICIPANTS AND DESIGN: Study 1 used a correlational design to investigate relationships between CR program experience and proxy efficacy for in-class and self-regulated exercise in a sample of CR participants (N = 222). Study 2 used an experimental design and mentalizing procedure to manipulate proxy efficacy of CR participants (N = 49) and compared responses to hypothetical scenarios depicting either positive and supportive or interpersonally neutral interactions with CR interventionists. RESULTS: Study 1 showed proxy efficacy was not associated with the quantity of experience participants had with their CR interventionists. Study 2 showed CR participants who imagined working with a positive and supportive interventionist reported greater proxy efficacy and self-efficacy for in-class and self-regulated exercise compared with neutral interventionists' interactions. CONCLUSION: The amount of experience people have with a proxy agent in CR may not contribute directly to proxy efficacy, although supportive and engaging interpersonal behaviors on behalf of proxy agents appear to be important factors that determine strong positive proxy efficacy beliefs as well as self-efficacy. Practitioners in CR and other rehabilitation settings should be mindful of the content of their interactions and the effects of those exchanges on the development of positive proxy and self-efficacy beliefs among their clients.
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