This survey is intended to discover how people manage their medical condition. The responses from this survey will help us understand how confident you are in managing your condition and the things that influence your health status. This survey should take you about two minutes to complete.


The purpose of this eight-item Likert scale is to assess patients' beliefs that they have the capability of self-managing their medical condition. It is relevant for any chronic medical condition that requires some degree of self-management on the part of the patient. The construct being assessed is self-management self-efficacy. The scale can be administered in a generic form (as herein), or it can be made specific to a given condition by substituting that condition in each item. There are two published reports on its use in specific conditions: diabetes (Wallston et al., 2007, J. of Behavioral Medicine, 30, 395-401) and HIV (Wallston et al., 2011, J. of Health Psychology, 16, 109-115). In the spring of 2014 the scale was administered in its generic form using the ORE platform to a mixed sample of 1465 patients whose primary diagnosis was one of seven possible conditions. The greatest number of respondents indicated they had either Multiple Sclerosis (MS, 44%), Fibromyalgia (FM, 34%), or Depression (Dep, 9%). The items were re-administered approximately two weeks later to 506 patients. In this study of patients belonging to the PLM website, Cronbach's alpha for the 8-item scale was 0.89, and the test-retest reliability was 0.85. Concurrent validity was evidenced by significant correlations with measures of general health and well-being (r = 0.66, p < 0.001), perceived stress (r = 0.59, p < 0.001), resilient coping (r = 0.42, p < 0.001), social support (r = 0.34, p < 0.001), medication adherence (r = 0. 25, p < 0.001), internal health locus of control (r = 0.28, p < 0.001), life satisfaction (r = 0.54, p < 0.001), and health literacy (r = 0.27, p < 0.001). Patients with Fibromyalgia had the lowest self-management self-efficacy scores, significantly lower than patients with Lupus, MS, Hypertension or Asthma. Discriminant validity of the PMCSMS was examined by correlating it with scores from a 5-item measure of social desirability bias. Although the correlation was positive (0.16) and significant (p < 0.001), the shared variance between the two measures was <3%. In conclusion, the PMCSMS in its generic version is a highly reliable and valid indicator of a patients' self-efficacy beliefs regarding self management of their chronic medical condition.


Ken Wallston


Domains Self-efficacy, Self-efficacy
Target Population

Patients with chronic medical conditions

Evaluated via ORE Yes
Conditions Any chronic medical condition that involves patient self-management of the condition


License Creative Commons Attribution - ShareAlike 3.0 United States