For diverse reasons, a large number of patients with Type 2 Diabetes (T2D) are yet to imbibe regular physical exercise behaviour. In this study, we characterised the link between psychological factors and physical exercise behaviour of a sample of Nigerian T2D patients. Participants were 176 T2D patients with minimum of six months duration since diagnosis. Perceived Stress Scale-10 and Exercise Self-efficacy Scale were used to assess psychological factors while the Stage of Change for Exercise Behaviour scale assessed physical exercise behaviour. Information including age, gender, employment, duration since diagnosis and previous patient education on physical exercise were documented. Most (58.5%) of the participants were men. The female participants had a significantly higher perceived stress (p = 0.01) while the male participants had a significantly (p = 0.0001) higher self-efficacy for exercise. Significant correlations (p < 0.0001) were found between the stage of change for exercise behaviour and each of perceived stress (r = -0.66) and self-efficacy for exercise (r = 0.56). Being female (OR = 3.82; 95% CI = 2.51-4.26), increasing age and diagnosis over ten years were significantly linked with pre-contemplation/contemplation while patient education on the need for physical exercise was linked to action/maintenance behaviour of physical exercise. Physical exercise behaviour of T2D patients was linked to psychological factors. Female T2D patients had significantly higher perceived stress, significantly lower self-efficacy and fewer maintained physical exercise behaviour. Tackling psychological challenges in patients with T2D will enhance commencement and maintenance of better physical exercise behaviour.
The Tropical Journal of Health Sciences Vol 19 No 1 (January 2012)