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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 152727, 9 pages
Research Article

Body-Efficacy Expectation: Assessment of Beliefs concerning Bodily Coping Capabilities with a Five-Item Scale

Institute for Social Medicine, Epidemiology and Health Economics, Charité—Universitätsmedizin Berlin, 10098 Berlin, Germany

Received 14 August 2013; Accepted 18 September 2013

Academic Editor: Pradeep Visen

Copyright © 2013 Lena Schützler and Claudia M. Witt. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Expectancies regarding a treatment play an important role in recovery as has been shown in placebo research. The role of expectations regarding the bodily capability to overcome illness is less investigated although in complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) such capability is the target of interventions. We introduced a new construct, body-efficacy expectation, defined as the conviction that one’s body is able to deal with health-threatening factors by itself, and developed and validated a scale for its measurement. Methods. The scale was developed following expert recommendations. Using online survey data from 1054 participants an exploratory factor analysis was conducted and psychometric properties of the scale were examined (item characteristics, reliability, and validity). Results. The exploratory factor analysis yielded a one-factor solution explaining 51.96% of total variance (Cronbach’s α = 0.77). One of the originally six items was removed due to poor item characteristics. Correlations with several validation measures were in line with the theoretical background of the construct. Most importantly, participants with better general health showed higher body-efficacy expectation than participants with poorer health status. Conclusions. Further studies confirming the factor structure and using clinical samples are recommended. Also, the relations with the appraisal of CAM and CAM use warrant further research.