• The SCI Exercise Self-Efficacy Scale (ESES) is a scale developed to measure a person with SCI’s beliefs or confidence that they can perform various physical activities and exercise (on a scale of 1-4).
  • One dichotomous item asks whether the individuals has exercised at home and / or in a gym in the past 12 months. perceived exercise self-efficacy for various types of physical activities.

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.

ICF Domain

Body Function ▶ General Functions


  • 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.

Number of Items





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



Training Required



Can be found here

# of studies reporting psychometric properties: 3


  • 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)

MCID: not established in SCI
SEM: not established in SCI
MDC: not established in SCI


  • Internal consistency of the ESES scale is High
    (α = 0.87 – 0.93).

(Kroll et al. 2007)

  • Test-retest reliability is High
    (ICC = 0.81).

(Nooijen et al. 2013)


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

Neither was noted, but distribution is negatively skewed.

(Nooijen et al. 2013)


Dr. Vanessa Noonan, John Zhu, Jeremy Mak, Joanne Chi.

Date Last Updated

1 December 2016

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.