Aims and objectives. To explore how older people maintained and improved their self-efficacy in maging home rehabilitation and their adherence to rehabilitation exercise programmes following orthopaedic surgery. Background. Successful postoperative orthopaedic rehabilitation for older people depends on building their confidence about adherence to exercise programmes designed to improve their functiol performance. Many older people, however, do not reach a satisfactory level of functiol ability before discharge and some fail to adhere to their rehabilitation exercise programme at home. This contributes to a reduced quality of life. Although many studies report the influences of self-efficacy, little is known about the factors that help rebuild self-efficacy beliefs towards postdischarge exercise following orthopaedic surgery. Design. A descriptive exploratory qualitative study. Methods. Semi-structured interviews were used with 15 older people who had returned to their homes following orthopaedic surgery. Results. Findings emphasise the importance of social support from family, friends and community to nurture self-efficacy. Accessing persol beliefs and attitudes, adaptive strategies and goal setting were all sources and ways participants rebuilt their confidence and motivation in regard to adhering to a rehabilitation programme. Conclusion. Facilitating self-efficacy assists older people to mage home rehabilitation and planning care with family and friends to create a support system in early discharge planning allows a safer and smoother recovery. Relevance to clinical practice. Rehabilitation programmes and education should encourage an understanding of self-efficacy as a means to improve individual functiol performance.