Self-efficacy in the context of heart transplantation - a new perspective

Matilda Almgren, Annette Lennerling, Martina Lundmark, Anna Forsberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: An in-depth exploration of self-efficacy among heart transplant recipients by means of Bandura's self-efficacy theory.

BACKGROUND: An essential component of chronic illness management is self-management, which refers to activities carried out by people to create order, structure and control in their lives. Self-efficacy is an important aspect of self-management, which seems to have become the main paradigm for long-term management after solid organ transplantation.

DESIGN: A directed content analysis using Bandura's self-efficacy theory.

METHODS: Open-ended, in-depth interviews were conducted with 14 heart transplant recipients at their 12-month follow-up after heart transplantation.

RESULTS: This study generated the hypothesis that from the patients' perspective, self-efficacy after heart transplantation concerns balancing expectations to find the optimum level of self-efficacy. Performance accomplishment was found to have the greatest impact on self-efficacy, while its absence was the main source of disappointments. It was also revealed that the gap between performance accomplishment and efficacy expectations can be understood as uncertainty.

CONCLUSIONS: It is essential to assess both expectations and disappointments from the patient perspective in order to promote an optimum level of self-efficacy among heart transplant recipients. This includes supporting the heart recipient to adopt mental and physical adjustment strategies to balance her/his expectations as a means of minimising disappointments. The understanding that uncertainty can undermine self-efficacy is crucial.

RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE: The merging of the uncertainty in illness and self-efficacy theories provides an excellent framework for the provision of self-management support. In addition, focusing on a partnership between the transplant professionals and the recipient is essential because it minimises the use of a behavioural approach.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3007-3017
JournalJournal of Clinical Nursing
Issue number19-20
Early online date2017 Feb 9
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Health Care Service and Management, Health Policy and Services and Health Economy


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