Purpose: People with chronic pain and related disability often report motivational difficulties with engaging in health-promoting behaviors. Although health promotion models of self-determination theory (SDT) and theory of planned behavior (TPB) have been shown to explain the motivational processes behind health behaviors in the general population, there is limited theoretical research among persons with chronic pain. This study examined the integration of such theories relevant to physical activity and exercise behavior among pain populations. Research Method: Secondary data analyses were conducted using cross-sectional surveys from 198 participants with chronic musculoskeletal pain recruited from U.S. clinics and community networks. The primary outcome was self-reported physical activity and exercise participation. Predictor variables included pain intensity, functional disability, and SDT and TPB measures. Hierarchical regression analysis was conducted to examine the associations between these variables. Results: Findings demonstrated that in the first step, functional disability was associated with physical activity and exercise; and in the second step, all SDT factors were associated with physical activity and exercise. In the final step of the model, only certain SDT and TPB factors were associated with physical activity and exercise. Conclusions: Despite preexisting pain and functional disability, the findings suggest that health behavior factors from both SDT and TPB are associated with physical activity and exercise participation. This line of research should encourage rehabilitation professionals to recommend regular physical activity and exercise, while simultaneously addressing and monitoring the SDT and TPB factors that are well-timed and appropriate for persons with chronic pain through motivation-oriented rehabilitation approaches.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
- Clinical Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health