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Action crises in personal goals compromise recovery during physical therapy.

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Author Wolf Benjamin M., Herrmann Marcel, Zubler Iris, Brandstätter Veronika,
Project A Closer Look at the Area of Tension Between Motivation and Volition - The Cognitive and Behavioral Consequences of an Action Crisis and Intervention Strategies
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Motivation Science
Volume (Issue) 5(2)
Page(s) 179 - 184
Title of proceedings Motivation Science
DOI 10.1037/mot0000106


When obstacles or setbacks obstruct a personal goal, the costs of persistence increase and may result in a conflict between further pursuit and disengagement, termed action crisis. Previous research indicates that action crises entail a higher prevalence of somatic symptoms due to stress and negative affect (Brandstätter & Herrmann, 2017). The present study uses a clinical sample to evaluate specifically action crises’ impact on recovery from musculoskeletal disorders in patients receiving physical therapy. Sixty participants reported action crisis with respect to two personal goals as well as health-related quality of life and pain at the beginning of physical therapy and after a maximum of 18 sessions. As hypothesized, pain and health-related quality of life improved less among individuals who experienced action crises at T1. The findings suggest that action crises in personal goals can compromise recovery from musculoskeletal disorders during physical therapy. Potential affective, physiological, and motivational mechanisms linking action crises and physical well-being are discussed.