Self-efficacy is associated with experienced fatigue after myocardial infarction

  • U. Fredriksson-Larsson
  • E. Brink


Background: Post-myocardial infarction fatigue is a bothersome symptom experienced to different degrees by nearly half of the group of discharged patients. Earlier research has shown that symptoms of fatigue contribute to experiences of uncertainty and withdrawal in daily life. Moreover, symptoms of stress and breathlessness have been found to predict fatigue in the early recovery period, two months after the acute heart attack. The aim of the present study was, therefore, to explore associations between stress, breathlessness and fatigue one year after myocardial infarction (MI), as well as to study the effects of self-efficacy on fatigue. Method: The sample included 125 persons (mean age 63.8 years, SD ± 7,0 range 44-75) who had been treated for myocardial infarction and responded to questionnaires measuring fatigue, stress, breathlessness and cardiac self-efficacy one year after MI. Correlation and regression analyses were used to study associations between variables and to assess the predictive value of self-efficacy in relation to fatigue. Findings: The results showed that self-efficacy was a predictor associated with fatigue (R2 adj 0.368), and in the regression model controlling for breathlessness and stress, the explained variance increased (R2 adj 0.716) one year after MI. Discussion: Cardiac self-efficacy was found to be associated with fatigue, meaning that we can assume that health-care support aimed at strengthening self-efficacy will promote fatigue relief, which may prevent progression into a state of higher levels of fatigue.
Poster presentations