The Role of Self-Efficacy and Aging in Managing Disease

The Role of Self-Efficacy and Aging in Managing Disease

Debra N. Weiss-Randall
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1680-5.ch010
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In 1900, life expectancy in the U.S. was 47 years and infectious diseases were the leading cause of mortality; today, life expectancy in the U.S. is almost 80 years and chronic diseases are the leading causes of mortality. Eighty percent of adults 65 and older have multiple chronic health conditions, which are costly to treat. Offering older adults an evidence-based self-management program can reduce medical costs and improve patient outcomes and quality of life. Research has shown that self-efficacy is a key factor in effective self-management programs. The Chronic Disease Self-Management Program (CDSMP) is an evidence-based program that helps patients to boost their self-efficacy and improve their disease self-management, under the supervision of a physician. In addition, the use of evidence-based complementary modalities is recommended as part of an integrative approach to self-management to help patients manage the daily anger, fear, and depression that frequently accompany living with an incurable disease.
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Self-Efficacy Theory

Albert Bandura’s groundbreaking work in self-efficacy posited that “expectations of personal efficacy determine whether coping behavior will be initiated, how much effort will be expended, and how long it will be sustained in the face of obstacles and aversive experiences” (Bandura, 1977, p. 191).

Key Terms in this Chapter

DASH Diet: Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet. The Dash diet reduces intake of saturated fat, total fat, sodium, and cholesterol, increases intake of fruits and vegetables, and increases consumption of potassium, calcium, magnesium, fiber, and protein.

Positive Psychology: The scientific study of the strengths that enable individuals and communities to thrive, a branch of psychology whose aim is authentic happiness and flourishing.

Integrative Medicine: Healing-oriented medicine that takes account of the whole person (body, mind, and spirit), including all aspects of lifestyle. It emphasizes the therapeutic relationship and makes use of all appropriate therapies, both conventional and complementary.

Self-Efficacy: A person’s belief that he or she can successfully execute a particular behavior to achieve a certain outcome.

Complementary Medicine: When a non-mainstream healing or therapeutic practice is used together with conventional medicine, it’s considered “complementary.”

Alternative Medicine: If a non-mainstream healing or therapeutic practice is used in place of conventional medicine, it’s considered “alternative.”

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