Modifiable Psychosocial Constructs Associated With Physical Activity Participation in People With Multiple Sclerosis: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis Academic Article uri icon

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  • OBJECTIVE: To synthesize current knowledge of the modifiable psychosocial constructs associated with physical activity (PA) participation in people with multiple sclerosis. DATA SOURCES: A search was conducted through October 2015 in 8 electronic databases: CINAHL, PubMed, SPORTDiscus, Web of Knowledge, MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, and PsycINFO. STUDY SELECTION: Cohort and intervention studies were included if they (1) included an objective or subjective measure of PA; (2) measured at least 1 modifiable psychosocial construct; and (3) reported bivariate correlations (or these could be extracted) between the PA and psychosocial construct measures. A total of 13,867 articles were screened for inclusion, and 26 were included in the final analysis. DATA EXTRACTION: Meta-analyses of correlations were conducted using the Hedges-Olkin method. Where a meta-analysis was not possible, results were reported descriptively. DATA SYNTHESIS: Meta-analyses indicated a pooled correlation coefficient between (1) objective PA and self-efficacy (n=7) of r=.30 (P<.0001), indicating a moderate, positive association; (2) subjective PA and self-efficacy (n=7) of r=.34 (P<.0001), indicating a moderate, positive association; (3) subjective PA and goal-setting (n=5) of r=.44 (P<.0001), indicating a moderate-to-large positive association; and 4) subjective PA and outcome expectancies (n=4) (physical: r=.13, P=.11; social: r=.19, P<.0001; self-evaluative: r=.27, P<.0001), indicating small-moderate positive associations. Other constructs such as measures of health beliefs, enjoyment, social support, and perceived benefits and barriers were reported to be significantly correlated with PA in individual studies, but the number of studies was not sufficient for a meta-analysis. CONCLUSIONS: Future PA interventions should continue to focus on the psychosocial constructs of self-efficacy and goal-setting. However, there is a need to explore the associations between other constructs outside those reported in this review.


  • Casey, Blathin
  • Coote, Susan
  • Shirazipour, Celina
  • Hannigan, Ailish
  • Motl, Robert
  • Martin Ginis, Kathleen A
  • Latimer-Cheung, Amy

publication date

  • July 2017