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Precontemplation (Not Ready) – People at this stage are often not aware that their behaviors are problematic and are not intending to make changes in the near future.


At this stage education regarding healthy behavior and help considering the pros of change are the best foci of intervention.

Contemplation (Getting Ready) – People in contemplation are starting to recognize their behavior as problematic. They are looking at the pros and cons of their continued behavior.

Intervention is geared toward consideration of how positive change would impact their lives and to reduce perception of cons of behavior change.

Preparation (Ready) – In preparation people are intending to change their behavior in the immediate future. The may start to make small changes to lay a foundation for greater change.

Support is fundamental during the preparation stage. Intervention is focused on planning and encouragement to seek out support from trusted individuals in the environment.

Action – People in this stage are moving. They have made changes, yet are new in the process and have to work hard for continued change.

Intervention is focused on strengthening commitment. Strategies may include self-reward, limiting factors in the environment that undermine continued positive behavior, and substitution of problematic behaviors with positive ones.

Maintenance – During maintenance, people have changed their behavior, have sustained their change for some time, and are working to prevent relapse.

Intervention is generally supportive. Individuals are encouraged to continue to develop a support system that fosters healthy behavior and to manage stress with continued positive behaviors.