Women with chronic conditions: Influence of selected psychosocial factors on exercise and physical activity level
Omoyemi O. Ogwumike, Sola D. Olashore, Ade F. Adeniyi
Background: Women in the menopausal transition experience body changes directly related to hormonal variation. Decrease in estrogen level may start a rapid decline in muscular strength, bone mineral density, aerobic fitness, and increased body weight. All these in turn are associated with development of chronic conditions such as hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, and others. Psychosocial factors have been documented as being capable of influencing physical activity (PA) in chronic conditions. Objective: Influence of psychosocial factors such as self-efficacy, family support, and perceived barriers to exercise and PA level of menopausal women with chronic conditions were investigated in this study. Methods: A cross-sectional survey in which women with hypertension, diabetes, and osteoarthritis were recruited from secondary and tertiary health centers in Ibadan and Ijebu-Ode in Oyo and Ogun States of Nigeria, respectively, after obtaining their informed consents. PA was assessed with the International Physical Activity Questionnaire, while Exercise Self-efficacy Scale and family version of the social support questionnaire as well as barrier scale of the Exercise Benefit and Barrier Scale were used to assess psychosocial variables and perceived barriers to exercise, respectively. Data were analyzed using Chisquare and logistic regression analysis at P = 0.05. Results: Three hundred and five women, predominantly postmenopausal 249 (83.8%) participated in the study and hypertension 117 (38.4%) was the most prevalent chronic condition. Majority 212 (69.5%) reported low PA level with 138 (45.2%) reporting high barriers to exercise. Significant direct association between PA level and exercise self-efficacy (P < 0.05) was reported while a significantly negative association was reported between PA level and perceived barriers (p < 0.05). No significant association was observed between PA and family support. Conclusion: Self-efficacy and perceived barriers to exercise significantly influenced PA level and exercise of menopausal women in this study, while family support played no prominent role. Important consideration should be given to these factors during exercise prescription to menopausal women.