The perceived self-efficacy is a key concept in health psychology, as it promotes the introduction of pro-health changes. Belief in one’s own effectiveness affects coping with the disease and is really conducive to achieving health goals. Increasing the patients’ sense of causative power affects the effectiveness of rehabilitation and improves their mood.
The concept of perceived self-efficacy was constructed by the Canadian psychologist Albert Bandura. This term means the conviction of an individual about their own ability to cope with the events of the surrounding reality. The perceived self-efficacy can be said to be a belief in the success of one’s own actions. People with a high level of perceived self-efficacy demonstrate hope for success in their activities. Patients with low self-agency are accompanied by a sense of their hopelessness and reduced mood, lack of faith in their own strength and in the sense of actions they undertake. Low level of perceived self-efficacy is associated with depression, anxiety, and helplessness. In the context of rehabilitation, the level of self-agency will determine whether the patient will undertake the task, put effort into it and remain persistent in its implementation.
Effective patient in rehabilitation
We do not often think about the patient’s effectiveness when we talk about the success of treatment and rehabilitation. Instead we tend to focus on the effectiveness of medicines, methods and procedures. In order for the recovery process to proceed successfully, the patient’s active attitude is also necessary. In the process of rehabilitation, the patient is not merely a passive recipient of the service. In order to obtain the best results, it is necessary for the patient to cooperate, demonstrate perseverance and a great sense of own influence on the result. The patient must be convinced of their own effectiveness. Even in illness, a person is able to set objective and engage in action, as long as there is a sense of agency. The higher the sense of self-efficacy, the higher the motivation to act and the better the outcomes. A patient with a high sense of self-efficacy adheres to medical orders, is persistent in performing actions necessary for their health. A patient with a low assessment of their competences easily resigns from making effort, demonstrates a helpless attitude, is unable to initiate action or continue to follow orders. The belief that there is no own impact on the recovery process is the reason for the patient’s low level of participation in rehabilitation. Cooperation with a patient with low potential for action is difficult for rehabilitators, and the effects of rehabilitation are weak.
The deepening of the relationship between the sense of self-efficacy, depression and the results of rehabilitation was addressed by Italian researchers. Research carried out on people who were rehabilitated after a stroke with depression proved that patients with high self-efficacy quickly, and to a greater extent, were able to achieve an improvement in rehabilitation. The achieved functional improvement positively affects the mood. Similar conclusions were formulated by the Polish research team assessing the role of self-efficacy in the process of rehabilitation of patients after a stroke. The Polish researchers pointed out the need to strengthen the sense of self-efficacy of rehabilitated people as the key to success of rehabilitation. A high assessment of self-agency allows for the adoption of effective strategies for solving problems in the recovery process. Strong belief in self-efficacy promotes overcoming obstacles and affects patients’ quality of life.
Patient self-efficacy can be enhanced. Increasing one’s own sense of effectiveness is influenced by:
- Successes – even small achievements shape the patient’s perceived effectiveness. Successes arouse hope for more victories to come.
- Persuasion – verbal accentuation of small successes evokes a sense of effectiveness. Feedback in the form of justified praise provided by an authority allows to maintain motivation in action.
- Emotions – the good mood and calm accompanying the task are conducive to increasing the sense of self-efficacy.
- Experience – self-efficacy is shaped as experience is gathered. The experience of success increases the sense of self-efficacy.
Improve self-efficacy with VR TierOne
In the process of comprehensive rehabilitation, one cannot forget about supporting the patient’s psyche and strengthening their self-efficacy. VR TierOne treatment stimulates internal resources, activates the driving force and improves the mood. By using the VR TierOne medical device, you can achieve better rehabilitation effects in a shorter time. This is because the cycle of 8 VR TierOne therapy sessions strengthens the patients’ awareness of their own resources, activating the patients’ causative powers. The experience of successes in subsequent therapeutic sessions and verbal suggestions are a source of growth in self-agency. Virtual Reality supports positive emotions and enables the patients to experience their own successes. Each successful task completed in the Virtual Garden of Rebirth becomes fuel for the subsequent tasks in the real world. The result is an increase in perceived self-efficacy, increased motivation, a proactive attitude, a focus on cooperation and taking responsibility for one’s health.