Assessing Stages of Exercise Behavior Change, Self Efficacy and Decisional Balance in Iranian Nursing and Midwifery Students

Document Type : Original article


Department of Nursing, College of Nursing and Midwifery, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran


BackgroundRegular physical activity contributes positively to physiological and psychological health. This study aimed to identify exercise behavior changes, self efficacy and decisional balance in nursing and midwifery students.MethodsThis is a cross-sectional study carried out in Iran. All undergraduate nursing and midwifery students (n=300) participated in this study. Data were collected using a standard questionnaire developed by Wakui including demographic information, exercise stages of change (using a 5-item, dichotomous (Yes/No) scale), exercise self efficacy (5 item using Likert scale) and exercise decisional balance (12 item using Likert scale). Validity and reliability was checked by the panel of experts and test retest correlation, respectively. Descriptive statistics (frequency and percentage) and analytical tests (Correlation, independent t-test, one way ANOVA) were used for analysis.ResultsIn total, 41 subjects were males (13.6%) and 259 females (86.3%). According to the results, 23.3% of the students were in pre-contemplation, 29% in contemplation, 32.6% in preparation, 7.3% in action and 7.3% in maintenance stages of changes in exercise behaviors. Significant differences were found in the individual efficacy scores, pros and cons of decisional balance in different stages of changes of exercise behavior. Significant differences were found between the pre-contemplation and other groups by post–hoc follow up test (P<0.05). No significant differences were found between nursing and midwifery students in SECQ scores and also between academic year, and self efficacy and pros and cons of decisional balance scores (P>0.05). ConclusionThis study showed that a large number of nursing and midwifery students were in the inactive stage. So, exploring effective strategies for directing students from inactive to active stage and motivating them to follow the appropriate exercise behavior seem to be necessary.