Stroke patients' awareness of risk and readiness to change behaviors
Date of this Version
Behavior change is an important component of secondary stroke prevention. The transtheoretical model, which describes behavior change as occurring through a series of stages, may be a useful way of assessing patients' readiness to change behavior. The model has been successfully applied to other chronic conditions and argues that people progressing "forward" through the stages are more likely to successfully change their behavior. The aim of this study was to describe stroke patients' readiness to change behaviors for stroke-related risk factors using this model, in the absence of a behavior modification intervention.
Patients (n = 27) from an acute stroke ward of a major metropolitan hospital in Brisbane, Australia, were interviewed prior to and at 3 months following hospital discharge regarding their awareness of stroke risk factors and their readiness to change stroke risk-related behaviors.
At both points in time, 30% of patients could not spontaneously nominate one or more stroke risk factors. Despite a trend of "forward" progression in stages of change between the 2 interviews for behaviors relating to hypertension, heart disease, and high cholesterol, there were no statistically significant changes over time for any of the behaviors. Patients' readiness to change stroke risk-related behaviors differed for each risk factor.
Acknowledging that patients' readiness to change may differ for each risk factor may promote more effective facilitation of stroke secondary prevention behaviors.
This document has been peer reviewed.