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Stages of Change

The Stages of Change model is useful for selecting appropriate interventions. By identifying a patient's position in the change process, the physician can tailor the intervention. Thus, the focus of the office visit is not to convince the patient to change behavior but to help the patient move along the stages of change. Using the framework of the Stages of Change model the goal for a single encounter is a shift from the grandiose ("Get patient to change unhealthy behavior.") to the realistic ("Identify the stage of change and engage patient in a process to move to the next stage.") (Zimmerman et al., 2000).

Zimmerman, G.L., Olsen, C.G., & Bosworth, M.F. (2000). A ‘stages of change’ approach to helping patients change behavior. American Family Physician, 61(5), 1409-1416.