Application of Transtheoretical Model in Healthcare


Applicationof Transtheoretical Model in Healthcare

Applicationof Transtheoretical Model in Healthcare

Theimportance of healthcare cannot be understated as far as the growthand development of any country is concerned especially consideringthat no person can make any significant contribution to the economyof a country unless he is healthy. One of the major ailments thathave been plaguing the contemporary society is obesity, with researchshowing that obesity across the globe has increased more than twicesince 1980. As at 2014, over 1.9 billion adults were consideredoverweight, with 600 million of them being obese. This presents animmense health challenge especially considering its being a riskfactor for other ailments such as asthma, diabetes, high bloodpressure and even heart attack. This paper aims at applying theTrans-theoretical model in the enhancement of exercise to eliminatethe problem. The transtheoretical model (TTM) of behaviormodification evaluates the readiness of an individual to act on anentirely new and healthier behavior, while offering processes andstrategies of modification that will guide a person via themodification stages to action and maintenance. While there may bevarying opinions, it is evident that TTM can be effective inelimination of obesity.

Obesityas a Lifestyle Disease

Obesityunderlines a medical condition where individuals have excess body fatthat accumulates in such a way that it results in other healthproblems for an individual. Testament to the severity of thecondition is the fact that as at 2014, 39% of adults across the globe(40% for women and 38% for men) were considered overweight, with 13%of the entire world population being obese (World HealthOrganization, 2015). This comes with numerous health risks includingsome types of cancer, heart diseases, obstructive sleep apnea,osteoarthritis and type 2 diabetes. While there are numerous causesthe ailment, obesity is often associated with sedentary lifestyles,where individuals consume fatty foods and exercise less. However,this paper primarily focuses on physical activity, where an increasein the same is expected to result in the reduction of the amount offat through burning calories and reducing the amount of fat that isdeposited in the body.


TMMwas designed to allow for the explanation of the manner in whichindividuals modify behavior. The fundamental organizing concept ofthe model is that change occurs as a process over time. People workvia affective and cognitive processes resulting in the adoption ofnew behavior or even cessation of unhealthy ones, before moving tothe use of behavioral strategies so as to create new behavioralpatterns (Marshall &amp Biddle, 2001). TTM has four constructsincluding stages of change, decisional balance and self efficacy, aswell as change processes. The change stages used in the model includepre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation, action andmaintenance. The patient can move through the stages in a linearfashion of even back and forth. The ten processes of changeidentified in the model include consciousness-raising, dramaticrelief, self-reevaluation, environmental reevaluation and socialliberation, which are categorized as experiential processes (Burbank&amp Riebe, 2002). Behavioral processes may include stimuluscontrol, self-liberation, helping relationships, reinforcementmanagement and counter-conditioning.

Applicationof TTM

Oneof the most fundamental stages of TTM is the contemplation stage,which incorporates individuals that are thinking of modifying theirbehavior within a period of time, usually, the next 6 months (Burbank&amp Riebe, 2002). At this stage, they could be thinking ofmodifying behavior and be open to information pertaining to thebenefit but still have no sufficiently good reason to modify behaviorjust yet (Nigg &amp Riebe, 2002). Of particular note is the factthat the individual is perfectly aware of the pros that come withmaking the behavioral modification, as well as the cons for the same.The weighting of the benefits and costs of modifying behavior isequal, in which case it may result in profound ambivalence that mayresult in individuals remaining at this stage for considerably longperiods. In essence, the stage is usually characterized by behavioralprocrastination and chronic contemplation (Nigg &amp Riebe, 2002).To influence their transition from this stage to the preparationstage, I would highlight the health risks of the condition, as wellas the connection between his lifestyle with the condition. I wouldalso highlight the benefits of adopting a change in behavior throughexercising more. Scholars have particularly highlighted thedecisional balance of TTM, which takes into consideration thebenefits and disadvantages of making behavioral modification. It isnoted that the identification of specific benefits pertaining to anew tendency would be especially helpful to individuals in thecontemplation and preparation stages (Mettler et al, 2000). Ininstances where the pros have more weight than the cons, individualsare much more likely to make the transition to the next stage. On thesame note, the incentive to make a change may be determined by anindividual’s self-efficacy, which is increased by four factorsincluding persuasion, reframing, self-mastery and modeling.


Needlessto say, the person’s readiness to change plays a fundamental rolein enhancing the modification process. Scholars have acknowledgedthat different interventions or strategies are utilized for people invarying readiness stages. At the contemplation stage, individuals arealways weighing the pros and cons of a particular course of action,in which case they may be stuck at this stage and never move beyondmaking any consideration for behavioral modification. To influencebehavioral changes, highlighting cons and laying more emphasis on thebenefits that one would derive from taking that step is imperative.Further, one could highlight the assistance that would be provided inthe process so as to eliminate the barriers that may be there(Mettler et al, 2000). However, it is worth noting that there arenumerous challenges to making a change with regard to the kind oflifestyle that an individual lives. First, the facilities forexercising such as gymnasiums may not be available in theneighborhood where the individual lives, in which case it can bedifficult to make the change (Nigg &amp Riebe, 2002). In addition,individuals often have considerably less time to dedicate to physicalactivities considering the immense necessity for increased earnings.On the same note, the individual may be financially challenged and,therefore, unable to buy the equipment necessary for the physicalactivities (Mutrie et al, 2002)s. Physical activities require thatpeople have certain types of clothing and footwear, not to mentionthe need to sign up in certain programs. In this case, individualsthat do not have the required financial muscle may have a hard timemaking the change. Nevertheless, there are some facilitators thatexist to the behavioral change. Key among them is the availability offocus groups that create the necessary or required atmosphere andincentive for adopting a certain lifestyle (Marshall &amp Biddle,2001). On the same note, the enhancement of support from the familymembers and friends may play a key role in giving an individual theincentive to make a change (Mutrie et al, 2002). This could becomplemented by the provision of information pertaining to theprograms available for the adoption of physical activities within thecommunity where the individual lives. As noted earlier, thehealthcare provider may use varied strategies in influencingmodification of behavior including highlighting the cons and layingemphasis on the benefits that would come for the modification ofbehavior. On the same note, the process of change requires that theindividual obtains immense support from those around him or herincluding family and friends.


Inconclusion, obesity has been one of the most prevalent ailments inthe contemporary human society. This may be attributed to the immensemodification of human lifestyle, where a large proportion ofindividuals have adopted sedentary lifestyles where they take fattyfoods and have reduced the level of physical activities. The factthat obesity is characterized as a lifestyle disease has underlinedthe fact a modification of behavior of individuals through thereduction of the amounts of foods that they took and the increase inthe level of physical activities would be crucial in elimination ofthe condition. Numerous theories have been crafted in an effort tocome up with a proper strategy for eliminating varied ailmentsincluding obesity, with transtheoretical model being one of the mostapplicable. The model has five stages including precontemplation,contemplation, preparation, action and maintenance. Of particularnote is the fact that the motivation and readiness for making atransition from one stage to the other would be determined by theassessment of the individual with regard to the benefits and costspertaining to that change.


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Nigg,C. R., &amp Riebe, D. (2002). The transtheoretical model: Researchreview of exercise behavior and older adults. In P. M. Burbank &ampD. Riebe (Eds.), Promoting exercise and behavior change in olderadults: Interventions with the transtheoretical model (pp. 147-180).New York: Springer.

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