Measurement properties of Tai Chi exercise self-efficacy among ethnic Chinese with coronary heart disease risk factors: A pilot study

Ruth E. Taylor-Piliae, Erika Sivarajan Froelicher

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Improvement in aerobic capacity and reduction in blood pressure after Tai Chi exercise programs in persons with coronary heart disease (CHD) or with CHD risk factors have been reported. Self-efficacy has been shown to be a consistent predictor of behavioral outcomes, now being applied to Tai Chi exercise. To assess the utility and appropriateness of existing tools measuring aspects of Tai Chi exercise self-efficacy (TCSE) in a new population, ethnic Chinese with CHD risk factors. Specific objectives were: (1) examine acceptability and feasibility; (2) determine score distributions; (3) assess the reliability and known-groups validity; (4) translate tool into an equivalent Chinese version and determine if there were any differences between ethnic Chinese and non-Chinese. Following a review of the literature, two existing tools used with Caucasians were found and modified; a 9-item exercise self-efficacy tool developed by Resnick and Jenkins [Resnick B, Jenkins LS, Testing the reliability and validity of the Self-Efficacy for Exercise scale. Nurs. Res. 49(3) (2000) 154-159], and a 3-item tool developed by Li et al. [Li F, McAuley E, Harmer P, Duncan TE, Chaumeton NR, Tai Chi enhances self-efficacy and exercise behavior in older adults. J. Aging Phys. Act. 9 (2001) 161-171] to assess gradations of the challenge to perform Tai Chi among elderly populations. The modified TCSE tool was translated into Chinese and back-translated. A pilot study was conducted to pre-test the modified 14-item TCSE tool in ethnic Chinese and non-Chinese. A total of 18 subjects (mean age=60 years, S.D.=18.4) participated. Seven subjects (39%) identified themselves as ethnic Chinese. Ten subjects (56%) had experience performing Tai Chi, ranging from 3 months to 17 years (mean=5.0 years, S.D.=5.0). Half of the subjects reported having a history of hypertension (n=9, 50%), while nearly one-third reported having high cholesterol (n=5, 28%). No significant difference in TCSE mean scores was found between ethnic Chinese and non-Chinese (p>0.05). Internal consistency estimates were very high (TCSE Barriers, r=0.95; TCSE Performance, r=0.97). A statistically significant difference was found in the TCSE mean scores between Tai Chi practitioners and non-practitioners (TCSE Barriers, t=-3.3, p=0.01; TCSE Performance, t=-2.7, p=0.03), with Tai Chi practitioners reporting higher self-efficacy; thus providing initial evidence of known-groups validity. Measurement of self-efficacy to overcome barriers to Tai Chi exercise (TCSE Barriers) and self-efficacy to perform Tai Chi (TCSE Performance) functioned well in this sample. The acceptability and feasibility of this tool was established and known-groups validity was confirmed. Further research using this tool among ethnic Chinese with CHD or CHD risk factors, including those with less than high school education or low literacy, is recommended as the next step in development of TCSE.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)287-294
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2004


  • Chinese
  • Measurement
  • Self-efficacy
  • Tai Chi
  • Validity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Medical–Surgical
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing


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