Background: Individuals’ physical and mental health, as well as their chances of returning to work after their ability to work is damaged, can be addressed by medical rehabilitation.
Aim: This study investigated the developmental trends of mental and physical health among patients in medical rehabilitation and the roles of self-efficacy and physical fitness in the development of mental and physical health.
Design: A longitudinal design that included four time-point measurements across 15 months.
Setting: A medical rehabilitation center in Germany.
Population: Participants included 201 patients who were recruited from a medical rehabilitation center.
Methods: To objectively measure physical fitness (lung functioning), oxygen reabsorption at anaerobic threshold (VO2AT) was used, along with several self-report scales.
Results: We found a nonlinear change in mental health among medical rehabilitation patients. The results underscored the importance of medical rehabilitation for patients’ mental health over time. In addition, patients’ physical health was stable over time. The initial level of physical fitness (VO2AT) positively predicted their mental health and kept the trend more stable. Self-efficacy appeared to have a positive relationship with mental health after rehabilitation treatment.
Conclusions: This study revealed a nonlinear change in mental health among medical rehabilitation patients. Self-efficacy was positively related to mental health, and the initial level of physical fitness positively predicted the level of mental health after rehabilitation treatment.
Clinical Rehabilitation: More attention could be given to physical capacity and self-efficacy for improving and maintaining rehabilitants’ mental health.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Applied Psychology
- Latent growth curve model
- Mental health
- Physical fitness
- Physical health