Assess readiness to take action
You can assess personal readiness to change and how people adapt to change using a model which has been used widely across various areas of health promotion called the Transtheoretical Model . Evidence suggests that behaviour change occurs in a cycle involving a pattern of adoption, maintenance, relapse, and re-adoption over time, rather than in a series of linear steps.
|Stage||Characteristics||What can be done to encourage change|
- Don't recognise any problem exists
- Have no intention of changing their
- Explain and personalize the risk
- Encourage re-evaluation of their current behaviour
- Clarify that any decision to change rests with them
- Aim to gently move these people from "NO!" to "I'll think about it"
- Generally ambivalent about any behaviour change
- "Sitting on the fence"
- Not considering changing any time soon
- Acknowledge they are in control
- Clarify benefits that could be gained from adopting falls prevention strategies and behaviours
- Encourage further self-exploration
- Leave the door open for further progress at a later stage
- Have recognised the need for change and are "getting ready" to make the required changes
- May have already "tested the waters"
- Thinking about how they can make the personal and environmental changes necessary to accomplish the new behaviours
- Praise them for making a positive choice
- Prioritise the most important elements of the change process
- Provide support
- Encourage small, individual steps in the right direction.
- Actually doing the things necessary to imbed the required changes into their daily practice and lives
- Dealing with new ways of doing things
- Need to be re-assured that they are doing well and making positive progress
- May feel a sense of loss about old habits so reinforce the long term benefits of the changes made and the improvements that will start to accumulate.
- Need follow up and support to continue the new behaviours
- Reinforce the rewards
- Warn about the possibility of re-lapse.
- Resumes old patterns of behaviour
- Help to identify "triggers"
- Reassure relapse is perfectly normal
- Reassess motivation for change
- Plan stronger coping mechanisms.
Owen and Lee (1984) use a similar model to summarise their model of personal behaviour change:
- awareness of the problem and a need to change
- motivation to make a change
- skill development to prepare for the change
- initial adoption of the new behaviour, and
- maintenance of the new behaviour and integration into the lifestyle.
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