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Addiction. 2007 Oct;102(10):1588-96.

Does progressive stage transition mean getting better? A test of the Transtheoretical Model in alcoholism recovery.

Author information

1
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Toronto, ON, Canada. russell_callaghan@camh.net

Abstract

AIMS:

To test two central assumptions of stage movement in the Transtheoretical Model (TTM) vis-à-vis alcoholism recovery: (assumption 1) individuals making a forward transition to the action-oriented stages (i.e. preparation/action) will manifest relatively greater drinking improvements than their counterparts remaining in the pre-action stages (i.e. pre-contemplation, contemplation); and (assumption 2) individuals remaining in the pre-action stages across time will not demonstrate clinically relevant improvement in drinking outcomes.

DESIGN AND SETTING:

Secondary data analyses of data from Project MATCH, a large multi-site alcoholism treatment-matching study.

MEASUREMENTS:

At baseline and 3 months post-treatment, the following variables were measured: stage-of-change (based on the University of Rhode Island Change Assessment measure and the most recent stage assignment algorithm), drinks per drinking day (DDD) and percentage days abstinent (PDA).

FINDINGS:

Six of the eight tests of assumptions 1 and 2 failed to support the basic tenets of the TTM. Our study demonstrated that individuals making a progressive stage transition to the action-oriented stages (i.e. preparation/action) do not necessarily manifest greater improvements in drinking-related behavior than individuals remaining in the pre-action stages (i.e. pre-contemplation, contemplation), and that individuals remaining in the pre-action stages over time actually do manifest statistically significant and clinically important improvements in drinking-related behavior.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our findings challenge not only the criterion validity associated with stage movement in the TTM account of alcoholism recovery, but also recent TTM-based substance abuse treatment approaches which systematically promote forward stage transition as a primary clinical goal and marker of therapeutic success.

PMID:
17915357
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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