The validity of Prochaska and DiClemente's Stages of Change Model in relation to dietary therapy

Summary

Diet plays an important role in the development of many of the major diseases in Western countries, including cardiovascular disease and various forms of cancer, and there are initiatives to change diets in many countries. The transtheoretical (stages of change) model, developed by Prochaska and DiClemente (1983), has attracted a great deal of research attention in health psychology and seeks to be applicable to all forms of health behaviour change, including dietary change. It offers a way of characterising people in terms of their readiness to change behaviour, the types of psychological variables and processes important at the different stages of change and recommendations for the types of interventions most appropriate in order to move through the stages. However, this model has mainly been used with addictive behaviours such as smoking.

This project is investigating the application of the transtheoretical model to dietary change. It has included initial cross-sectional work, which has examined how processes of change and self-efficacy differ across stages of dietary change. This initial questionnaire study was followed by semi-structured interviews in order to gain a more detailed insight into the processes associated with dietary change.

This work is being followed up with a major intervention study at Hammersmith Hospital (in collaboration with Dr Gary Frost) aiming to change fat intake in Type 2 diabetic patients. This involves comparing the impact of stage-matched interventions with a non-stage matched intervention and a control group with no intervention in order to test the efficacy of the model in changing dietary behaviour.

Papers and book chapters

Shepherd, R. (2005). The use of the stages of change model with dietary behaviours. In R. Shepherd & M. M. Raats (Eds.), The Psychology of Food Choice. CABI.

Conference presentations

Moore, A. & Shepherd, R. (2001). The application of the transtheoretical model to dietary behaviour. Paper presented at the British Psychological Society Annual Conference, Glasgow, 28-31 March 2001. Proceedings of the British Psychological Society, 9, 228.

Moore, A. & Shepherd, R. (2002). The application of the transtheoretical model to reducing fat intake. Paper presented at the International Society of Behavioural Nutrition and Physical Activity, Seattle, 12-13 July 2002.

Shepherd, R. & Moore, A. (2001). Application of the Transtheoretical Model to changing dietary behaviours. Paper presented at the BPS Health Psychology Conference, St Andrews, 5-8 September 2001. Proceedings of the British Psychological Society, 2003,11 (1), 42-43.

Shepherd, R. & Moore, A. Changing dietary behaviours: can the stages of change model help? Paper presented at the BPS Social Psychology Section Conference, University of Surrey, 18-20 July 2001.

Shepherd, R. & Moore, A. (2001). Changing dietary behaviours: can stage theories help? Paper presented at Promoting Public Health: A Social-Psychological Perspective, Chambery, France, 10-12 May 2001.

Shepherd, R., Moore, A., & Frost, G. (2002). Stages of change and dietary behaviours in type 2 diabetes. Paper presented at the 16th Conference of the European Health Psychology Society, Lisbon, 2-5 October 2002.

Shepherd, R., Moore, A., & Frost, G. (2003). Stages of change and dietary behaviour. Paper presented at the Society for Nutrition Education Annual Conference, Philadelphia, 26-30 July 2003.

Shepherd, R., Moore, A., & Frost, G. (2003). Transtheoretical model processes of change as predictors of dietary change. Poster presented at the International Society for Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, Quebec, 17-20 July 2003.

Researchers

  • Andrew Moore
  • Richard Shepherd

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