Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

M. Thomas Woodall


The purpose of this study was to compare the Health Belief Model (HBM) and the STAGES theoretical constructs in the uncovering of influencing factors associated with exercise compliance behaviors in cardiac rehabilitation subjects.

Sixty subjects who had experienced a cardiac event and who were attending a phase II outpatient cardiac rehabilitation program participated in this study. A questionnaire regarding health beliefs and exercise behavior classification was administered. Questions pertained to general health motivations, effectiveness of the intervention, perception of disease severity, perception of susceptibility and the stage of exercise behavior.

An analysis of variance and Tukey's post hoc comparison statistical procedures were performed to identify the significant differences (α = 0.05), between the stage of change in exercise behavior and health beliefs.

Examination of the results revealed a significant difference in health beliefs between subjects classified in the Precontemplation (had not exercised previously and had no intention of starting) stage of exercise behavior when compared with all other exercise stages and their respective health beliefs. Furthermore, the dimensions of perceived severity and effectiveness of intervention were significantly identified as the factors exerting the most influence on general health beliefs.

It was concluded that by tailoring the rehabilitation regimen to complement the individual's health beliefs that the likelihood of initiation and maintenance to a rehabilitation program would increase, and levels of compliance observed in this population would improve.