Exercise Self-Efficacy Scale (ESES)

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Tool Description

  • SCI-specific scale developed to measure perceived exercise self-efficacy for various types of physical activities.
  • Requires individuals to indicate their confidence in performing physical activities and exercise.
  • One item asks whether the individual has exercised at home and/or in a gym in the past 12 months.

ICF Domain:

Body Function – Subcategory: General Functions.

Number of Items:


Brief Instructions for Administration & Scoring


  • Self-report, pen and paper format.
  • Requires individuals to respond to items on a 4-point Likert scale (1-not at all true, 4-always true).
  • Exercise activity is based on the response to a dichotomous item that specifies whether respondents have exercised ‘at home and/or gym’ vs. ‘no exercise’.
  • Takes approximately 5 min to administer.

Equipment: None

Scoring: The total score is derived by summing the scores for the individual items; possible scores range from 10 to 40.


MCID: not established for SCI
SEM: not established for SCI
MDC: not established for SCI

  • Higher scores indicate greater perceived self-efficacy.
  • The dichotomous item is used to estimate the subject’s average exercise activity.
  • No cut-points and normative data for the SCI population have been established
  • Published data for the SCI population is available for comparison (see the Interpretability section of the Study Details sheet)


English, Dutch

Training Required:



See the 'How to use' page of this tool.

Clinical Considerations

  • Self-efficacy is the belief individuals have in their ability to perform certain behaviours to achieve desired outcomes. The ESES measures the subject’s perceived exercise self-efficacy beliefs. Evidence suggests that the adoption of and adherence to regular exercise is influenced by self-efficacy to perform physical activity. Consequently, this scale was developed to address the lack of an exercise self-efficacy tool for people with SCI.
  • The ESES was developed specifically for the SCI population based on expert comments and interviews with individuals with SCI. Therefore, it should represent the physical activity and exercise self-efficacy issues of this unique population.

Measurement Property Summary

# of studies reporting psychometric properties: 3


  • Internal consistency of the ESES scale is High (α=0.87-0.93).
  • Test-retest reliability employed split-half internal consistency and was found to be 0.8836 (Equal-Length Spearman-Brown test).

[Kroll et al. 2007]


  • The ESES is significantly (P<.05) and Moderately correlated with the Generalised Self Efficacy Scale (ρ=0.316).

[Kroll et al. 2007]


No values were reported for the responsiveness of the ESES scale for the SCI population.

Floor/ceiling effect:

No values were reported for the presence of floor/ceiling effects in ESES for the SCI population.


Dr. Vanessa Noonan, John Zhu, Jeremy Mak

Date Last Updated:

Dec 1, 2016

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Download Worksheet:

Worksheet Document





Equipment Needed


Fliess-douer O, Vanlandewijck YC, Van der woude LH. Reliability and validity of perceived self-efficacy in wheeled mobility scale among elite wheelchair-dependent athletes with a spinal cord injury. Disabil Rehabil. 2013;35(10):851-9.

Kroll T, Kehn M, Ho PS, Groah S. The SCI exercise self-efficacy scale (ESES): development and psychometric properties. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 2007, 4:34.

Nooijen CF, Post MW, Spijkerman DC, Bergen MP, Stam HJ, Van den berg-emons RJ. Exercise self-efficacy in persons with spinal cord injury: psychometric properties of the Dutch translation of the Exercise Self-Efficacy Scale. J Rehabil Med. 2013;45(4):347-50.