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Theories & Approaches

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Benefits and Challenges of Stages of Change

The benefits of using the Stages of Change model are many:

  • You can create a climate where realistic, positive change can occur, instead of setting yourself (and your program participants) up for failure and disappointment.

  • Especially for addictive or otherwise compelling behaviors, you can turn relapses and setbacks into learning opportunities — which will translate into more lasting progress down the road.

  • You can help program participants stay motivated and watch them make new, healthy habits a permanent part of their daily lives.

However, incorporating Stages of Change into a health education or other type of program requires some investments of time and other resources. Challenges include:

  • figuring out instruments and other tools that accurately assess participants' stages of change

  • adapting programs to incorporate the Stages of Change model in appropriate and beneficial ways, and

  • evaluating and assessing these new efforts

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