South Kingstown, RI – June 12, 2013. This month, Care New England will launch a pilot of an innovative smoking cessation program for its health plan members. The program integrates Pro-Change’s evidence-based behavior change program, including individually tailored text messages with VAL Health’s unique approach to incentives.
Pro-Change’s Smoking Cessation Program (www.prochange.com/smoking-cessation-program) is built for smokers who are not ready to quit, getting ready to quit, ready to quit, in the process of quitting, and staying quit. The URAC award-winning program has an impressive cessation rate of 25%-30%. Recent research indicates that adding individually tailored text messages to the program increased effectiveness by 10 percentage points.
The 6-month pilot with Care New England health plan members will be integrated with VAL Health Rewards, an innovative program that applies the principles of behavioral economics to improve the impact and efficiency of incentive programs.
All Care New England’s benefit-eligible employees and their spouses and dependents who smoke will be eligible to participate in the program. A special bonus award is available if more than one member in a household participates.
“We are very excited to be working with Pro-Change and VAL Health Rewards on this new program. Unlike many other smoking cessation programs, this pilot helps to assess how ready a person is to quit and then provides tailored support based upon that assessment. Many, but not all, participants will quit. However, the research shows that most who complete the program will be better prepared to quit” said Domenic Delmonico, Senior Vice President and executive sponsor of the program for CNE.
About VAL Health
VAL Health is a leading behavioral economics consulting firm. Its health related incentive solutions are derived from team members’ rigorous scientific studies that demonstrate how one offers incentives is often more important than the size of the incentive. VAL Health applies behavioral economic science into practice to develop high impact wellness programs for employers and health plans, and customized incentive programs for health-related technology companies to increase participation and engagement. For more information, please visit www.valhealth.com.
About Care New England
Care New England Health System is positioned to transition into the new era of health care delivery with a high quality continuum of care. Its strength are based on complementary programs and distinctive competencies of partner hospitals and agencies including Kent, Butler, and Women and Infants Hospitals, the VNA and the Care New England Wellness Center. For more information, please visit www.carenewengland.org.
South Kingstown, RI – May 31, 2013. From research gleaned through 30 population-based randomized clinical trials, Pro-Change has found that there are six phases and five factors on a continuum of patient engagement.
The six phases of patient engagement are:
REACH → RECRUIT → RETAIN → PROGRESS → SUCCESS → SUSTAIN
The five factors that drive those phases are: proactivity, stage of change, communications, incentives, tailoring, and transforming.
Most health professionals have been trained to passively wait for patients to reach out to them for help with high-risk and high-cost behaviors like smoking, unhealthy diets, and sedentary lifestyles. Unfortunately, few patients reached out because they were not experiencing pain, illness, or distress from these “silent killers.” Now, with Accountable Care Organizations and pay for performance models, health professionals need to be trained to proactively reach out to entire populations, not just those ready to change.
Once recruited, retention is the next challenge. Historically, discontinuation or drop-out from action-oriented interventions ranged from 70% to 80% for weight management and addictive behaviors, and about 50% for use of prescribed medications. The number one factor that predicted who was recruited and who was retained was stage of change. This factor needs to drive the design of behavior change programs and the health communications used to engage patients.
The historic model for behavior change of large percentages of patients (and of professionals) has been an action model, in which individuals are seen as changing when they quit smoking or start taking their medications as prescribed. If professionals are trying to engage them in a disease prevention or management program, patients assume it is action oriented. Why should patients agree to participate in a program for which they are not prepared? Programs need to be appropriate for patients in all stages of change.
Patient communications needs to convey that “Wherever you are at, we can work with that!”TM Using a traffic light as an icon for readiness to change, communications can let patients know “red light = not ready, yellow light = getting ready, green light = ready. Ready or not, we can be of help.” Of course, the program must actually be designed to respect wherever the patients are at.
Incentives are an increasingly important factor to engage populations. Employers particularly rely heavily on such extrinsic motivations, because most employees are not prepared to participate but they are prepared to trade time for money. The problem is that populations can simply go through the motions for money, without putting in the effort. Transforming from extrinsic to intrinsic motivation is the next driving factor. This begins the progress phase, as individuals advance from one stage to the next as a result of having received tailored feedback. Once patients progress, it means they are engaged not just in the treatment process but also in the change process. Historically, we equated treatment with change, but many people can remain in treatment and not progress. Programs need valid, brief measures that assess progress that would not be observable to participants. For example, the sooner patients receive feedback that their cholesterol is decreasing, the more likely they will continue to adhere to cholesterol lowering drugs.
Over time, progress leads to success as patients change their health status for costly behaviors. To maximize success, programs need to sustain engagement from one year to the next. The greater the percentage of populations engaging in treatment and change processes over time, the more programs can reduce risks and costs, and increase health, well-being and productivity.
The bottom line: It’s time to use the lessons we have learned from the science of behavior change to increase patient engagement, rather than repeating history.
Pro-Change At Cutting Edge of Multiple Behavior Change Research: Plays Key Role in Translational Behavioral Medicine Journal’s Special SectionMay 2nd, 2013
South Kingstown, RI – May 1, 2013. Kerry E. Evers, PhD, Senior Vice President at Pro-Change Behavior Systems, Inc. is the Co-Editor of the Special Section Multiple Health Behavior Change in the latest issue (March 2013) of the Translational Behavioral Medicine Journal: Practice, Policy, and Research. In her editorial, Dr. Evers comments on the “Advances in Multiple Health Behavior Change Research” and describes the Special Section as “spanning different populations (e.g., adults and adolescents, employees, health clinic patients), methods (e.g., quantitative and qualitative), and modalities (e.g., survey and intervention research).”
Two of the eight peer-reviewed papers published in the Special Section highlight Pro-Change’s programs, one on youth obesity prevention, and the other on adult stress management, weight management, and smoking cessation.
The article by Yin et al., titled “Treatment-enhanced Paired Action Contributes Substantially to Change Across Multiple Behaviors: Secondary Analyses of Five Randomized Trials,” explores different analytical methods to determine the consistency, robustness, and synergy in patterns of multiple concurrent behavior change outcomes. Data from five randomized trials of computer-tailored interventions that simultaneously treated multiple health behaviors were analyzed. Three of those five trials used Pro-Change programs. Yin et al. found that paired action (changes on both behaviors in a pair) contributed substantially more to the treatment related outcomes than changes in just one of the behaviors in a pair. These results help us to understand how Pro-Change programs can increase impacts on multiple behaviors and populations.
The Bottom Line Statement in the Policy Brief by Amy A. Eyler, PhD, of Washington University, states that Pro-Change’s Health in Motion youth program “was not only effective in initiating and maintaining energy balance behaviors, but also in reducing smoking and alcohol acquisition in early adolescents.” Eyler is highlighting Velicer’s et al’s study “Multiple Behavior Interventions to Prevent Substance Abuse and Increase Energy Balance Behaviors in Middle School Students.” Health in Motion has been used by middle and high schools, by dependents of employees, and YMCAs, and could be used by Accountable Care Organizations for families and communities.
About Translational Behavioral Medicine Journal
Translational Behavioral Medicine: Practice, Policy, and Research (TBM) is an official international peer-reviewed publication of the Society of Behavioral Medicine. TBM’s mission is to engage, inform, and dialogue between research, practice, and policy. TBM features original empirical studies on the effectiveness or implementation of interventions which explicitly state the impact of the findings for researchers, practitioners, and policy makers. For more information, please go to
South Kingstown, RI – April 10, 2013. The Interstitial Cystitis Association (ICA) has subcontracted Pro-Change Behavior Systems, Inc. to develop a Transtheoretical Model-based computer-tailored intervention for patients experiencing interstitial cystitis (IC) (painful bladder syndrome).
The online program will be designed to encourage patients with IC to use a range of healthy strategies to manage or minimize their pain, and to cope with pain that does occur. Healthy strategies will include first-line treatments recommended in the American Urological Association’s treatment guidelines (e.g., education, stress management, pain management, self-care, and behavior modifications), and any second-line and third-line treatments prescribed by their care providers.
The intervention will be accessed via the ICA’s website, ichelp.org, and will:
- Assess and give feedback on level of IC pain and the benefits of using healthy strategies to manage that pain;
- Assess and give feedback on current stage of change for using healthy strategies to manage IC pain;
- Assess and give feedback on current use of each of the healthy strategies for managing IC pain;
- Facilitate use of up to seven stage-matched Transtheoretical Model principles and processes of change shown empirically to facilitate transition to the next stage of change for making positive behavioral changes;
- End with a report that contains all the feedback received during the session, and links to stage-matched information and resources on the ICA website. The report can be printed or accessed online using private login information.
Lee Claassen, Executive Director of the ICA stated, “We are pleased to have the opportunity to have a strong theory-based intervention built for IC patients to help empower them in managing their condition and live the fullest life possible.”
The development of this computer-based self-management tool for IC patients is supported by the Interstitial Cystitis Association’s Cooperative Agreement number 5U58DP002936-02 from The Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The Interstitial Cystitis Association (ICA) is the only non-profit health association dedicated to improving the quality of healthcare and lives of people living with IC. The ICA provides advocacy, research funding, and education to ensure early diagnosis and optimal care with dignity for people affected by IC. For more information, please visit ichelp.org.
South Kingstown, RI – March 14, 2013. The Depression Prevention Program (Managing Your Mood) developed by Pro-Change Behavior Systems, Inc.,
has been added to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices (NREPP). NREPP is a searchable online registry of substance abuse and mental health interventions that have been reviewed and rated by independent reviewers. The purpose of this registry is to assist the public in
identifying scientifically based, easily disseminated interventions.
The Depression Prevention Program is a Transtheoretical Model of Behavior Change computer-tailored program for adults who are experiencing at least mild symptoms of depression. The goal of the program is to help individuals use healthy strategies for recognizing, managing, and reducing symptoms of depression, and for preventing the onset of major depression. The intervention was found effective in a large-scale randomized trial funded by the National Institute of Mental Health. It received high marks for the quality of the research and readiness for dissemination in the NREPP review.
To view a description of the Depression Prevention Program and reviewer ratings, please visit the NREPP website at: www.nrepp.samhsa.gov/ViewIntervention.aspx?id=275.
Deborah Levesque, PhD, Senior Vice-President at Pro-Change and the principal developer of the program stated, “We are thrilled to receive NREPP recognition for this low-cost, easily disseminated program that has the potential to reach and fill gaps in services for depressed and at-risk individuals in the work place and in primary care.”
This is not the first of Pro-Change’s Award Winning LifeStyle Programs to be recognized. In 2007, Pro-Change’s Stress Management Program was placed on SAMHSA’s NREPP site.
NREPP is one way that SAMHSA is working to improve access to information on tested interventions and thereby reduce the lag time between the creation of scientific knowledge and its practical application in the field. NREPP is a voluntary, self-nominating system in which intervention developers elect to participate. For more information on NREPP, please visit www.nrepp.samhsa.gov.
South Kingstown, RI – February 27, 2013. The February 2013 thematic issue of Health Affairs entitled, “New Era of Patient Engagement,” has over 25 articles exploring aspects of patient engagement from the evidence and potential of patient engagement, to the role of clinicians and shared decision making.
According to Susan Dentzer, Health Affairs editor-in-chief, “wherever engagement takes place, the emerging evidence is that patients who are actively involved in their health and health care achieve better health outcomes, and have lower health costs, than those who aren’t… The challenge is to encourage patients and providers alike to embrace engagement and achieve its full potential to improve health and health care.” Pro-Change has designed two solutions to do just that.
Proactive Health Consumer (PHC) is a mobile-optimized, individually tailored behavior change program designed to increase patient engagement in health and health care by encouraging informed decision making; shared decision making; financially responsible use of health services; and engagement in ongoing wellness activities among patients. Like all Transtheoretical Model-based programs, PHC is for all patients – those who are not ready, those who are getting ready, and those who are already proactive consumers. The program includes a dynamic web portal containing interactive activities that build patients’ skills and confidence to be an active participant in their care. To read more about the PHC program, please read this article from Art and Science of Health Promotion.
Pro-Change’s new health care Provider Dashboard helps primary care providers to be experts in behavior change without extensive training. The dashboard is populated with a patient’s data from our Health Risk Intervention (HRI). Once a patient has completed the HRI, clinicians can see a graphic representation of the patient’s self-reported health status, as well as behavior change challenges and priorities on a single screen. The dashboard provides brief, evidence-based, tailored behavior change messages the clinician can deliver to engage the patient in the behavior change process. The inclusion of a patient’s behavior change priorities can promote shared decision making and improve outcomes. The dashboard also allows clinicians to prescribe Pro-Change’s award-winning behavior change programs and follow their patients’ progress over time.
About Health Affairs
Health Affairs is the leading journal of health policy, thought, and research. The peer-reviewed journal was founded in 1981 under the aegis of Project HOPE, a nonprofit international health education organization. Health Affairs explores health policy issues of current concern in both domestic and international spheres. To learn more about Health Affairs, visit their website at www.healthaffairs.org.
About Pro-Change Behavior Systems, Inc.
Pro-Change Behavior Systems, Inc., a certified Women’s Business Enterprise, is a research and development company providing wellness partners with computer- and coaching-based programs for changing health risk behaviors. Based on the Transtheoretical Model developed by founder Dr. James O. Prochaska, Pro-Change programs are for entire populations and are uniquely tailored to each individual. Pro-Change programs have produced unprecedented impacts on multiple behaviors to enhance health and reduce health care costs. In 2009, Pro-Change LifeStyle Management Programs for Stress Management, Depression Prevention, Weight Management, Exercising Regularly, Smoking Cessation, and Medication Adherence won the URAC Gold Award for Best Practices in Health Management. In 2012, the LifeStyle programs were featured on AHRQ’s Innovation Exchange website. For more information, please visit www.innovations.ahrq.gov. For more information about Pro-Change, please visit www.prochange.com.
Krames StayWell ACO 360 Suite to include Pro-Change LifeStyle Management Suite featuring Health Risk Intervention, Online Coaching Programs, and New Provider Dashboard
South Kingstown, RI – February 13, 2013. Pro-Change Behavior Systems, Inc. and Krames Staywell (KSW) have reached an agreement to incorporate a special version of the Pro-Change LifeStyle Management Suite into Krames Staywell’s comprehensive communication and engagement package created for accountable care organizations, ACO 360°. ACO 360° meets the outreach, acute patient education, and health management needs of an accountable care organization and is designed to foster patient engagement in the care coordination activities of an ACO by promoting health self-management.
“ACO 360° is a powerful program that includes print and digital newsletters, a patient resource guidebook, multimedia website libraries, and a comprehensive database of over 5,500 patient education articles in English and Spanish that can be integrated into virtually any Health IT system and delivered through the EHR and Patient Portal via the Infobutton Standard,” explained John George, Executive Vice President Krames StayWell. “However, we felt there was a gap in providing solutions to enable ACOs to better manage the overall health of their patient population. The LifeStyle Management Suite, created by the Pro-Change team using a leading behavior change methodology, is uniquely designed to serve the needs of an ACO model.”
Pro-Change was founded by James O. Prochaska, PhD who developed the Transtheoretical Model of Behavior Change (TTM) more commonly referred to as the Stages of Change Model. The LifeStyle Management Suite incorporates the TTM into a Health Risk Intervention that not only assesses risk but also addresses a person’s readiness to make a behavior change and guides the user with stage matched strategies. The Suite includes nine online coaching programs such as smoking cessation, weight management, exercise, nutrition, and stress management that dynamically reassess where a person is on the continuum of making a behavior change and provides tailored guidance strategies to best help the user reduce their health risks. The version of the LifeStyle Management Suite incorporated into ACO 360° also includes an innovative provider dashboard designed to better coordinate and encourage health management interventions and promote communication between the patient and the care team.
“We are excited to be partnering with Krames Staywell,” added Janice M. Prochaska, PhD, President and CEO, Pro-Change. “The combination of our scientifically validated behavior change programs and KSW’s proven patient and consumer engagement tools coming together in ACO 360° creates a powerful lever for any accountable care organization looking to drive success of their efforts via effective patient engagement and accountability in personal health management.”
To find out more about this new program for accountable care organizations please visit www.kramesstaywell.com/aco-360.
About Krames StayWell
Krames StayWell is the largest provider of patient education, consumer health information, and population health management communications in the country. Combining extensive technology and content assets with vast consumer insights and a strategic approach, Krames StayWell is uniquely qualified to engage consumers across the entire spectrum of their health care experience. Our best-in-class health communication solutions integrate print, interactive, and mobile formats at multiple touch points to attract and retain consumers, improve health outcomes, and lower costs. We deliver measurable results for hospitals, health care professionals, health plans, employers, retail pharmacies, government agencies, and association clients with world-class design, commitment to health literacy principles, and a focus on custom development. For more information, please visit www.kramesstaywell.com.
South Kingstown, RI – February 7, 2013.
Pro-Change Behavior Systems, Inc. has begun a partnership with the National Association of Disease Management & Wellness Professionals® (NADMWP) to provide educational and professional development resources and programs. Members of NADMWP include nurses, pharmacists, dieticians, therapists, and doctors. Pro-Change’s e-Learning program which teaches Basic Transtheoretical Model (TTM) skills will be offered to members at a reduced rate, as well as stage-matched behavior change manuals and the award winning MyHealth LifeStyle Management programs. Members can earn 4 CEs for passing the test at the end of the e-Learning Basic TTM Training.
Steve Potje, RN, CCP, and BS/BA, Executive Director of NADMWP stated: “I wish I would have had this course when I started in the field. The e-Learning program is very easy to follow, provides the core content needed to understand both TTM coaching and MI strategies and how to apply them in guiding a member to behavior changes.”
The National Association of Disease Management & Wellness Professionals®
The National Association of Disease Management & Wellness Professionals® (NADMWP) is a nonprofit professional association for Doctors, Registered Nurses, Registered Dieticians, Pharmacists, Social Services, and Behavioral Health professionals working in the Disease Management & Wellness industry. These professionals are tasked with helping the millions of persons with chronic medical conditions learn to self-manage these conditions and to help the non-diseased population to make lifestyle changes to avoid the development conditions such as Diabetes, Coronary Heart Disease, Hypertension and COPD. To learn more about the NADMWP, please visit their website at www.nadmwp.org.
South Kingstown, RI – January 28, 2013. Dr. Sara Johnson, Senior Vice President at Pro-Change Behavior Systems, Inc. is receiving an Award for Excellence in Reviewing for her service to the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior (JNEB). Dr. Johnson was selected from over 1,000 reviewers based on her dedication to reviewing for JNEB and the quality of her reviews.
Karen Chapman-Novakofski, PhD, RD, Editor-in-Chief, stated that “Dr. Johnson’s contributions are invaluable to the success of the Journal. Her expertise and professional critiques have helped improve numerous manuscripts during her tenure.”
Dr. Johnson’s award will be highlighted in the January/February issue of the Journal.
About the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior
JNEB is the official journal of the Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior. It is a refereed, scientific periodical that serves as a resource for all professionals with an interest in nutrition education and dietary/physical activity behaviors. The purpose of JNEB is to document and disseminate original research, emerging issues and practices relevant to nutrition education and behavior worldwide. For more information please visit www.jneb.org.
South Kingstown, RI – January 9, 2013. Pro-Change Behavior Systems, Inc. recently released a guide for financial coaches, life coaches, or financial planners whose goal is to help clients change financial behaviors. The Transtheoretical Model of Behavior Change for Financial Coaching is a 92-page guide that provides:
- An overview of the Transtheoretical (Stages of Change) Model, a leading model of behavior change
- Questions that can be used to assess client’s readiness to set aside money to pay off debt, follow a budget, save regularly, or change other financial behaviors
- Detailed guidance about specific behavior change strategies that are most appropriate for clients in each stage of change
- Activities and worksheets that can be completed by the client, as well as referrals to best in class online financial tools and information
The guide, written by a team at Pro-Change including Sara Johnson, Ph.D., Carol Cummins, M.Ed., M.L.I.S., and Lynne Broderick, M.P.H., is concise and easy to follow. It includes practice client scenarios that allow coaches or financial planners to test their ability to correctly determine stage of change and recommend appropriate behavior change strategies.
Dr. Leanne Mauriello, Vice President of Research and Product Development, joined Neta Taylor-Post, Director of Healthcare Initiatives at the YMCA of Greater Providence Association, on The Rhode Show Tuesday, January 8 to promote the Y’s offering of MyHealth at the Y in Rhode Island. The Rhode Show is a morning talk show aired Live at 9 am on WPRI Fox Providence.
To watch the segment, please click the image below.
MyHealth at the Y is a personalized health and wellness coaching program that combines Pro-Change’s MyHealth program, our LifeStyle Management Suite of behavior change programs, with consultation and support from trained Y staff called Navigators. The Y staff participated in Pro-Change’s online e-Learning course on the Transtheoretical Model and participated in trainings provided by Dr. Mauriello. The Y professionals guide members through a review of their Health Risk Intervention Report and assist with setting behavior change goals. They refer members to the behavior change programs included in MyHealth and provide members with additional support as needed. MyHealth at the Y is being offered at all 7 branches of the Greater Providence Association.
Co-hosts of the Rhode Show, Will Gilbert, Michaela Johnson and Meaghan Mooney, completed the Health Risk Intervention and their consultation with a Y Navigator will be aired at a future date on the Rhode Show.
South Kingstown, RI – January 3, 2013. On Christmas day, John C. Norcross, PhD, a former student of James O. Prochaska, PhD, developer of the Transtheoretical Model, released his new book, Changeology: 5 Steps to Realize your Goals and Resolutions. The book takes the reader through the scientific stages or steps of the change process with Transtheoretical Model-based assessments, guidance, and worksheets. Norcross puts into practice Dr. Mehmet Oz’s September 17, 2012 Time magazine statement that the Transtheoretical Model “has been around since the late 1970s but is no less powerful now and even has special utility when two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese and 600,000 of us are killed by cardiovascular disease per year.”
In Changeology, John C. Norcross lists his pet peeves of traditional self-help resources: “They tend to fail in four ways: they are not based on research (95% are not); they don’t provide specific strategies; they focus on only one stage of the solution; and they don’t tailor advice to the individual.”
Pro-Change’s health behavior change programs, based on the Transtheoretical Model, are just the opposite. They are based on over 35 years of continuing research; they provide specific, concrete change strategies; they target all of the stages of change; and they are tailored to the individual on all four constructs of the change process – stage, pros and cons, self-confidence, and processes of change.
In his book, Norcross recognizes the research and development work of Deborah Levesque, PhD, for depression prevention, and Sara Johnson, PhD, for multiple behavior change and co-variation. Unfortunately he mistakenly lists their affiliation as the University of Rhode Island. Both are Senior Vice Presidents and leaders in the scientific development of new applications of the Transtheoretical Model at Pro-Change Behavior Systems, Inc.
Norcross’ new book can help many more people appreciate the science of the stages of change, which can produce greater success in efforts to lead healthier and happier lives.
To learn more about John C. Norcross’ book, Changeology, go to www.changeologybook.com.
South Kingstown, RI – December 20, 2012. Pro-Change Behavior Systems, Inc. has made extensive upgrades to its URAC Gold Award-Winning LifeStyle Suite’s eight programs, including Stress Management, Smoking Cessation, Healthy Eating, Exercise, Weight Management, Depression Prevention, Managing Your Cholesterol, and Managing Your High Blood Pressure. To request a demonstration of the updated program, please contact us at email@example.com.
Upgrades to Pro-Change LifeStyle suite include:
- Spanish version of all eight LifeStyle programs – including both the computerized tailored interventions and Personal Activity Centers
- A text messaging feature which delivers tailored intervention messages to a participant’s mobile phone or email account. Messages are tailored based on stage of change and up to six additional constructs of the Transtheoretical Model based on the participant’s answers from the online LifeStyle program session
- Mobile-optimized versions of all program components for easier use on smart phones and tablets
- Personal Activity Centers for all behaviors, including new PACs for Depression Prevention, Managing your Cholesterol, and Managing Your High Blood Pressure. The PACs provide interactive stage-based tools to activate the process of change between program sessions
- Expanded healthy eating content within the Managing Your Cholesterol and Managing Your High Blood Pressure programs
Updates to Pro-Change’s Health Risk Intervention include:
- More consistent ordering of questions and feedback for easier use and understanding
- New recommendations based on the latest changes in USPTFS
- New measures of well-being and productivity
Updates to Pro-Change’s Application Framework include:
- More options for single sign-on, including SAML 2.0
- Reduced memory footprint of 50% per active user
- Tighter security of user personal data and passwords
- Image pre-fetching for faster screen loading
- Template redesigns for HTML5 compatibility, easier re-branding/skinning, and use in iFrames
- User interface changes based on usability studies
- Accessibility improvements for easier use by low-vision participants
- Better visibility of scheduled e-mail reminders by administrators, and expanded reminders now include both eligibility and inactivity messages
“We are pleased now to be able to offer all of our programs in Spanish, to have tailored text messaging as part of our programs, and to give an increased ease of use,” stated Janice M. Prochaska, PhD, President and CEO of Pro-Change. “We would be glad to work with anyone wanting a demo of our new features.”
South Kingstown, RI – November 13, 2012. This month Pro-Change will start to pilot test a three-session computer-tailored intervention called Stand Up:
A Program to Prevent Bullying. Pilot participants will include a national sample of teens with epilepsy and high school students in the Cleveland, Ohio area.
The Stand Up program delivers questions, stage-matched feedback, videos, and personal stories designed to educate, motivate, and inspire students to use six skills for relating to others in healthy ways:
- Trying to understand and respect the other person’s feelings and needs
- Using calm, nonviolent ways to deal with disagreements
- Respecting the other person’s boundaries
- Communicating your own feelings and needs clearly and respectfully
- Making decisions that you know are right for you in social situations
- Taking a stand to stop bullying when you see it
Each session ends with a Let’s Talk About It web page, which lists school, community, and national help sources.
Dr. Tatiana Falcone, the program director for Project COPE (Collaboration for Outreach and Prevention Education) at Cleveland Clinic states, “Given the painful consequences of bullying for adolescent patients with epilepsy and for other students, this is an important issue that needs to be addressed through programs such as Stand Up. It is imperative to engage students in the learning environment, to educate and inspire their daily actions.”
The Stand Up program is an adaption of Teen Choices: A program for Healthy, Nonviolent Relationships, a computer-tailored intervention for dating violence prevention developed by Pro-Change. With funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Grant #R43CE000499) and the National Institutes of Mental Health (Grant #R44MH86129), Teen Choices was tested and found effective in a randomized trial involving 3900 high school students from 20 Rhode Island high schools. The Cleveland Clinic is able to provide the Stand Up program through a grant provided by Health Resources and Services Administration’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau (Grant #H98MC20269).
For further information, please contact Deborah Levesque, PhD., at firstname.lastname@example.org.
South Kingstown, RI – October 18, 2012 - Pro-Change was awarded a Phase II Small Business Innovation grant in 2012 on September 20. Funding from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) was won to complete and enhance the development of a responsible drinking intervention and to test it in a randomized clinical trial. The intervention will target employed adults who are at least 21 years of age and who consume alcohol at risky levels. Risky drinking is defined by NIAAA as more than 14 drinks per week or more than 4 drinks per day for men, and as more than 7 drinks per week or more than 3 drinks per day for women. The intervention will include a computer tailored intervention offering guidance and feedback on drinking quantity and severity, goal setting, and the most appropriate stage-based strategies for change. To support and reinforce the change process, a dynamic and engaging Participant Activity Center and personalized text messages will complement the intervention and offer additional stage-matched change guidance. Through this grant Pro-Change will further enhance our product optimization for mobile devices. The Responsible Drinking program will eventually be added to our award-winning LifeStyle Management Suite as a cost-effective means to intervene with adults on their drinking habits in a private, convenient, and individualized way. For more information, please contact Principal Investigator Leanne Mauriello, PhD, at email@example.com.
NIH’s National Institute on Drug Abuse awarded Pro-Change funding for a separate project entitled, “Computerized Stage-Matched Intervention for Juvenile Offenders, ” which received a perfect score from reviewers. This research will assess the efficacy of a multimedia stage-based computer-tailored intervention called Rise Above Your Situation program (RAYS), designed as an adjunct to traditional juvenile justice programs. The intervention delivers assessments and individualized feedback matched to readiness to stay out of trouble with the law and quit alcohol and drugs. At the end of each session, the program also generates a counselor report that summarizes the youth’s feedback and presents concrete, easy-to-implement strategies probation officers or counselors can use to reinforce stage-matched concepts. In collaboration with the Iowa Juvenile Court System, the efficacy of the RAYS program will be tested in a randomized clinical trial involving 1,000 youth age 13-17 on probation. Primary outcomes will be criminal recidivism and substance abuse abstinence at 6 and 12 months follow-up. For more information, please contact Principal Investigator Deborah Levesque, PhD, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
South Kingstown, RI – September 28, 2012 – Since 2010, members of the Kent County YMCA in Warwick, Rhode Island have been offered access to Pro-Change’s LifeStyle Management suite of programs. Given the enthusiasm for the pilot program, referred to as MyHealth at the Y, the YMCA of Greater Providence Association has decided to offer the programs to all 7 of its full-service branches in Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts.
This fall over thirty Welcome Center Directors and Member Navigators are participating in Pro-Change’s e-Learning Basic Transtheoretical Model course as well as in-person trainings conducted by Dr. Leanne Mauriello, Vice President of Research and Product Development at Pro-Change. Through these trainings, Y staff will learn the fundamentals of the Transtheoretical Model of Behavior Change and how to apply the model to assist members in setting wellness goals based on their readiness to make a behavior change.
As part of MyHealth at the Y, members will be invited to take Pro-Change’s online Health Risk Intervention (HRI) either at computer kiosks located at the YMCA branches or at any Internet-enabled computer. The HRI will start the change process by pinpointing the member’s stage of readiness to change for various health risks and by offering targeted guidance on the most important steps that can be taken to progress to the next stage of change. Y members then will be invited to meet with Member Navigators–staff trained to discuss the HRI feedback and to assist in setting wellness goals based on readiness to change. Members will also have access to the award winning 7 behavior change programs and their corresponding Participant Activity Centers.
Patricia Driscoll, a Member Navigator from the Kent County YMCA speaks highly of the offering: “We love using MyHealth. It is a wonderful tool for staff and our members. The trainings by Pro-Change have allowed us to become comfortable and skilled in addressing and suggesting wellness and behavior change with Y members.”
Pro-Change also has worked in various capacities with YMCAs in Maryland and Tennessee. The hope is that the model of MyHealth at the Ys in Rhode Island will be duplicated by other YMCAs throughout the country. “We appreciate the innovative mindset and vision of the administrators and staff at the RI YMCAs. They are paving the way on how YMCAs nationally can approach and assist with wellness and well-being in a greater magnitude. We are thrilled to assist with their endeavor and to offer our science and evidence-based programs and trainings,” stated Dr. Leanne Mauriello.
South Kingstown, RI – September 17, 2012 – In an article on behavior change in the September 17, 2012 issue of Time Magazine, Dr. Mehmet Oz, a renowned cardiothoracic surgeon, author, and television personality, emphasized the longevity and sustained applicability of the Transtheoretical Model. In the article titled “Goal Power,” Dr. Oz stated that the Transtheoretical Model “has been around since the late 1970s but is no less powerful now and even has special utility when two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese and 600,000 of us are killed by cardiovascular disease per year.”
In addition to underscoring the crucial role behavior change plays in managing weight, Dr. Oz highlighted the impact interventions based on the Transtheoretical Model can have on medication adherence. He described in detail the results of a study Pro-Change conducted on improving adherence to antihypertensive drugs. The study, led by Dr. Sara Johnson, was funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. The evidence-based behavior change program that resulted in significant improvements in adherence a year after the intervention ended, is now a key component of Pro-Change’s award-winning LifeStyle Management Suite. An equally effective program has been developed to improve adherence to lipid-lowering medications. To learn more about the Medication Adherence programs or the results of the study, please visit www.prochange.com/medication-adherence. To learn more about Pro-Change’s weight management or other LifeStyle Management programs, please visit prochange.com/behavior-change-products.
We have outgrown our space at the University of Rhode Island.
Pro-Change Behavior Systems, Inc. is relocating to the historic Hazard Mill in South Kingstown, RI. At our new location, we can continue to grow and serve our wellness partners by providing innovative high impact programs.
Pro-Change is proud to further revolutionize behavior change in this historic site of the industrial revolution.
Thursday, September 13, 2012
Effective: September 17, 2012
1174 Kingstown Road, Unit 101
South Kingstown, RI 02879
P: (401) 360-2980
F: (401) 360-2983
West Kingston, RI – August 16, 2012 – Pro-Change Behavior Systems, Inc. has entered Health in Motion in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine (AJPM) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Childhood Obesity Challenge. Through this online competition the hope is to find innovative and promising solutions for healthier kids. Creative ideas, programs, projects, and interventions are eligible. Submissions will be judged by AJPM reviewers, a panel of expert judges, and through popular voting. Please cast your vote by going to http://ajpmchallenge.calit2.net/submissions/entry/id/65. You will be prompted to register. Health in Motion is on page 5 in the submission gallery. You can view all of the submissions and cast your vote until 5pm on September 30th.
Health in Motion is a self-directed program for adolescents that targets physical activity, fruit and vegetable consumption, and limited TV viewing. Using the Transtheoretical Model as a guiding theoretical framework, the program utilizes best practices of behavior change to offer individually tailored guidance on multiple risks through an efficient and low-cost approach. Using interactive technologies to reach populations of adolescents with science-based and personalized guidance, Health in Motion is a solution embedded with the capability for wide reach and impact.
Health in Motion was developed with funding from the National Institutes of Health and has been tested in two separate randomized clinical trials with 1,800 students from 8 high schools and with 4,158 students from 20 middle schools. Across both trials the program was found to impact the number of days doing 60 minutes or more of physical activity, daily consumption of fruits and vegetables, initiating and maintaining all three of the behaviors, reducing the number of behavioral risks, and progressing on multiple behaviors. Solid demonstrated evidence supports the utilization of Health in Motion to change energy balance behaviors.
Health in Motion is currently being distributed by employers as a behavior change offering for their employees’ dependents and by wellness centers to their youths members. The program platform is flexible with many possible options for dissemination. It can be delivered in classrooms, at youth or community organizations, in health care settings, by health care insurers, by school nurses, by primary care providers, or integrated into educational textbooks and curriculum. Health in Motion can be used as a stand-alone offering or in conjunction with environmental, curriculum, and policy initiatives. To view a demo of the program, please visit www.prochange.com/obesitydemo.
Submissions to the Challenge will be judged on three criteria: innovation of the idea; likelihood of being translated into real world action; and reach/evidence of large population-wide impact. The judging panel will identify 1st, 2nd, and 3rd prize winners. In addition, there will be a popular choice winner determined by the number of votes. You can cast your vote today until September 30th at 5pm at http://ajpmchallenge.calit2.net/submissions/entry/id/65. You can also “Like” Health in Motion on Facebook!
West Kingston, RI – June 28, 2012 - The University of Rhode Island (URI) was awarded a $14 million federal grant to develop a program coordinating the health care of adults with cognitive disabilities. The role of Pro-Change Behavior Systems, Inc. will be to customize its award winning evidence-based online LifeStyle Management programs to meet the special needs of the population. Pro-Change’s e-Learning training program will guide providers in using the Transtheoretical Model to coach patients in health behavior change for smoking cessation, regular exercise, stress management, and weight management.
The three-year grant was one of 81 new Health Care Innovation Awards announced this month. The grants are made possible by the Affordable Care Act.
With this funding, URI will develop a program called “Living Rite” to improve and coordinate health care for people with cognitive disabilities and multiple health risks who are covered by both Medicaid and Medicare. The Living Rite project is expected to create 31 jobs and save $15.5 million in health care costs by preventing illness, as well as managing illness more effectively to reduce the need for emergency room visits, nursing home care, and hospitalization.
About the University of Rhode Island
The University of Rhode Island is Rhode Island’s public learner-centered research university. Located in Kingston, RI with three other campuses throughout the state, URI is the only public institution in Rhode Island offering undergraduate, graduate, and professional students the distinctive educational opportunities of a major research university.
West Kingston, RI – June 21, 2012- With a Department of Public Health Tobacco Cessation Grant, the Connecticut Technical High School System is now making available Pro-Change’s online Keeping It Fresh tobacco cessation program for youth and the adult online Smoking Cessation program for the youth’s parents and the schools’ staff.
Counselors, educators, and nurses at the Connecticut Technical Schools have been trained in guiding and supporting youth in using the program through in-service training, taking the basic Transtheoretical Model e-Learning course (and receiving 4 CEs), studying the Coaches Guide for Using the Transtheoretical Model, and having available the Smoking Cessation stage-matched manual.
Marie Burlette, RN, BSN, and co-coordinator of the grant, stated that “It is great to have evidenced-based cessation programs both for our students, parents, and staff all delivered through our technical schools throughout Connecticut.”
About the Connecticut Technical High School System
The Connecticut Technical High School System provides a unique and rigorous learning environment that ensures both student academic success, trade/technology mastery, and instills a zest for lifelong learning. Students are prepared for post-secondary education including apprenticeships and immediate productive employment. For more information please visit www.cttech.org.
West Kingston, RI – June 6, 2012 – Pro-Change and Self Esteem Boston are collaborating to develop validated pre- and post-measures to assess the readiness of Self Esteem Boston’s direct service clients in recovery to gain and use skills that support recovery and improve their lives.
Self Esteem Boston is a non-profit charitable organization that provides a unique psycho-educational program that directly teaches the tools of self-esteem as the basis for improving people’s lives. Self Esteem Boston targets their direct service programs to women in the Boston region who are homeless, substance abusers, victims of domestic violence, individuals transitioning out of the criminal justice system, and the unemployed. They also deliver professional development programs for community agency staff in greater Boston, and continuing education and CEU training programs to service providers throughout New England.
Marion B. Davis, President and Executive Director of Self Esteem Boston stated, “I am pleased to be collaborating with Pro-Change so that we can know better the impact our work has on our clients.”
About Self Esteem Boston
Self Esteem Boston’s mission is to change people’s lives from the inside out by raising their self-esteem. And by raising their self-esteem, it is their goal that people will live more consciously, and become self-accepting, self-assertive, and live with purpose, responsibility, and integrity. They do this by delivering self-esteem educational programs in group-settings which 1) defines what self-esteem is, 2) educates people on why self-esteem matters, and teaches people how to build self-esteem through essential skill development, and 3) support toward making healthy life choices. For more information, please visit
West Kingstown, RI – May 17, 2012 – James O. Prochaska, PhD described as “one of the most prolific luminaries in the profession” was interviewed by Paul E. Terry, PhD the new editor of The Art of Health Promotion in the May/June 2012 edition of The American Journal of Health Promotion.
Dr. Terry focused on asking Dr. Prochaska on how best to apply what he has learned about behavior change against some of the most perplexing challenges we are presently tackling as practitioners. Terry explores with Jim the scientific implication of the generalized use of the Transtheoretical Model; the criticisms from West & Sutton; the use of financial incentives; and the importance of multiple behavior change.
Terry concluded that Jim is “deeply grounded in doing the right thing and allowing scientific evidence to be the basis for continued debate, disagreements, and discovery.”
William R. Miller, PhD provided a prologue to the interview in which he states that “it is now widely accepted that facilitating motivation for change is OUR job, and I can think of no one more responsible for that sea of change than Jim Prochaska.”
Join Dr. Paul Terry the new editor of The Art of Health Promotion, on Tuesday, May 29 at 1 p.m. (EST) for a discussion with Dr. James Prochaska and Dr. William Miller. Gain insight into practical application of their extensive research and hear their views on future direction for the field. Please visit: www.healthpromotionjournal.com.
Pro-Change is pleased to announce that we have expanded our offering of continuing education credits for our e-Learning course titled, “Basic Transtheoretical Model Training.” In addition to having approval through the American Psychological Association and the National Association of Social Workers for 4 continuing education contact hours, we now offer continuing education to both nurses and health educators. Our TTM course is approved by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, Inc. (provider #SSP3733) for 4 CHES Category I continuing education contact hours (CECH). Our course is also approved by IAHB, an Approved Provider of Continuing Nursing Education by the Utah Nurses Association (UNA), an accredited Approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation. (UNA = 4 CEHs. Provider Code P09-03).
The online “Basic Transtheoretical Model Training” trains clinicians and health care professionals on the basic concepts and strategies to effectively use the Transtheoretical Model of Behavior Change (TTM) when working with clients to change health risk behaviors. Pro-Change’s President and CEO, Janice M. Prochaska, PhD stated that “We are pleased to now offer CEs to several major disciplines and to be able to expand the reach of our course.”
“Basic Transtheoretical Model Training” incorporates activities such as role-plays, knowledge checks, and a 25-item multiple-choice certificate test to further strengthen the concepts learned. It includes additional features such as closed captioning, recorded narration, and a resource library. For more information, please visit www.prochange.com/e-Learning.
By the end of the interactive four-hour course, which can be completed in one or multiple sittings, the learner will be able to:
- Understand and describe the characteristics of people in each Stage of Change: Precontemplation, Contemplation, Preparation, Action, Maintenance, and Termination.
- Describe the four main constructs of the TTM: stage of change, decisional balance, self-efficacy, and processes of change.
- Identify which TTM principles and processes to employ at each Stage of Change (e.g., in Precontemplation to raise the Pros, in Maintenance to focus on preventing relapse).
- List and define techniques of Motivational Interviewing (MI), a way of working wth clients that complements the TTM to support behavior change.
Initial course users have said:
“My experience with e-Learning training left me with a thorough understanding of the stages of behavior change as they are applied in assisting members/participants in changing lifestyle behaviors. There were excellent examples of how to incorporate strategies and kind encouragement in meeting a participant member where they currently are in their journey of making changes toward a healthier way of living.”
“The training helped me gain a better appreciation and understanding of the model and the science behind Pro-Change’s online programs.”
“My first gut reaction is it is great, easy to follow, very organized, very professional and loaded with information. It is great to review in such a well thought out format.”
“…the virtual teacher was great – not too robotic, which some can be. And I thought the way the role-playing was handled was also great – you visually got the idea, without needing a video. The course explained many things about the TTM that were nebulous to me before.”
Pro-Change Behavior Change Programs That Focused on Exercise and Stress Management Also Dramatically Improved Overall Well-BeingApril 5th, 2012
West Kingstown, RI – April 4, 2012 – Pro-Change’s computer-tailored intervention (CTI) programs applying the Transtheoretical Model of Behavior Change (TTM) to exercise and stress management simultaneously reduced participants’ health risks while improving multiple areas of well-being. Areas of well-being that were significantly impacted included: physical health, emotional health, life evaluation, and healthy behaviors, according to a new study presented by Healthways, Inc. at the Population Health and Care Coordination Colloquium in Philadelphia in February and now released in the Population Health Management Journal 2012 online at
Participants in a telephonic coaching program group, with exercise as the primary target behavior and stress management as a secondary target, improved healthy behaviors pertaining to exercise (57.3%) and stress management (74.9%). Those in a web-based program group, with stress management as the primary target behavior and exercise as a secondary target, also reported healthy behavior change pertaining to exercise (46.6%) and stress management (64.7%). Both of those groups were significantly more likely to achieve treatment success than the control group, which did not receive telephonic or online interventions for exercise or stress management.
“We know that well-being measures how we feel and experience our daily lives in addition to being predictive of future health care cost,” said James Pope, Vice President and Chief Science Officer, Healthways, Inc. “This study done in collaboration with Pro-Change adds to that knowledge by showing that cost-effective programs, conducted via telephone or online, adequately provide the support required to help populations improve health and well-being, resulting in lower health care costs across the board.”
Although a variety of behaviors relate to well-being (such as physical health, happiness, quality of life, and health care costs), exercise and effective stress management were chosen as the two health behaviors having the greatest potential for changing multiple domains of well-being. Exercise and stress management interventions were chosen since those behaviors were anticipated to have effects on multiple aspects of well-being and would be important components of a well-being improvement system, if proven effective. Results from the trial demonstrated that multiple areas of well-being did show improvement. Those areas of well-being not showing significant change, such as an individual’s access to health care or work environment, were not expected to show changes.
About the Study
The study was conducted on 3,391 individuals using Pro-Change Behavior Systems, Inc. programs and Healthways, Inc. health coaches. Both treatment groups included Pro-Change CTIs with tailoring based on an individual’s stage of change for a given behavior. The secondary behaviors in each intervention received stage-matched targeting, which only provides guidance on stage of change by giving strategies on the one or two best steps that could lead to the next stage. This type of protocol can simultaneously treat multiple behaviors while reducing the treatment demands on participants and providers.
The exercise coaching group received up to three proactive telephone sessions at 0, 3, and 6 months via outreach by a trained health coach. Coaches used the CTIs to guide all sessions with optimal TTM tailoring for exercise and stage-matched tailoring for stress management, the secondary target. The CTI led the coaches through a series of assessment questions and bulleted tailored feedback, based on stage of change and TTM variables, to guide their participants to the next stage of change. Each telephone session lasted about 20 minutes. The stress management online group received a self-directed Pro-Change web-based intervention with full TTM tailoring for stress management and stage-matched tailoring for exercise.
Those two treatment modalities were used, in part, because telephonic coaching and online CTIs represent the two most commonly applied modalities of scalable wellness interventions. This study was not designed, however, to compare whether telephone coaching produces greater impact than online CTIs or whether exercise, as the primary behavior, is more effective than stress management.
Participants were recruited via the Internet through a survey sampling company that has a national pool of about 1,500,000 potential participants. To be eligible, participants had to report risk in the areas of both exercise (not engaging in moderate or vigorous exercise to national guidelines) and stress (reporting stress that was not being managed effectively) during the screening process.
Healthways (NASDAQ:HWAY) is the leading provider of specialized, comprehensive solutions to help millions of people maintain or improve their health and well-being, and as a result, reduce overall costs. Healthways’ solutions are designed to help healthy individuals stay healthy, mitigate or eliminate lifestyle risk factors that can lead to disease, and optimize care for those with chronic illness. Our proven, evidence-based programs provide highly specific and personalized interventions for each individual in a population, irrespective of age or health status, and are delivered to consumers by phone, mail, Internet, and face-to-face interactions, both domestically and internationally. Healthways also provides a national, fully accredited complementary and alternative Health Provider Network and a national Fitness Center Network, offering convenient access to individuals who seek health services outside of, and in conjunction with, the traditional healthcare system. For more information, please visit www.healthways.com.
West Kingston, RI – March 13, 2012 – The Art and Science of Health Promotion Conference is the premier event in health promotion presenting the very best in the field. The 22nd annual conference titled “Making Healthy Choices the Easiest Choices: Increasing Awareness, Enhancing Motivation, Building Skills, and Creating Supportive Environments” will be held in San Diego on April 11-13.
On Wednesday April 11, 2012, Pro-Change’s James O. Prochaska, PhD and Janet L. Johnson, PhD, along with Sonja L. DeWees, MPH of Quality Health Solutions will present a panel discussion on “Data on the Debate on Participation-Based vs. Outcome-Based Incentives.” Outcomes from a real world implementation using participation-based incentives will be compared to results from randomized clinical trials applying participation-based and outcome-based incentives.
On Friday, April 13, 2012 from 1:45 pm to 3 pm, Pro-Change’s Sara Johnson, PhD, will present a Research Report on “Leveraging Gaming for Health Behavior Change: How Can We Maximize Its Potential?” Best practices that have emerged from studies to date and a series of expert interviews on serious gaming will be summarized and synthesized into recommendations for leveraging the power of serious gaming for health promotion and health behavior change initiatives.
About the Art and Science of Health Promotion Conference
This conference brings together more than 600 like-minded professionals across disciplines and settings with a passion for health promotion. For 22 years leaders in health promotion, who represent some of the largest and most successful workplace, clinical, educational, and community programs in the nation, come together to learn and share their work. For more information, please visit www.HealthPromotionConference.com.
West Kingston, RI – March 1, 2012 – The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) recognized Pro-Change’s LifeStyle Programs for a second time in its Innovations Exchange.
Pro-Change’s LifeStyle Programs, licensed by Quality Health Solutions, are part of Quality Health Solutions’ comprehensive wellness programs.
The profile focused on Quality Health Solutions implementation and associated impact of its wellness services at a large employer group for the previous six years.
- Participation ranged from 88 to 95 percent.
- Over one-third of smokers (35 percent) quit smoking; more than two-thirds (68 percent) changed behaviors to manage stress more effectively; the vast majority (79 percent) of those at risk for depression exhibited improvements in symptoms; average cholesterol fell by 9.7 points.
- The percentage with no risk factors roughly doubled with concomitant declines in those with two or more risks.
- Health care costs remained flat for the first four years, well below historical increases of 8 percent a year. Since 2008, health care costs have grown quite modestly with average increases of two to three percent.
Fewer Risk Factors
Janice M. Prochaska, Ph.D., President and CEO of Pro-Change stated that “it is really rewarding that AHRQ recognized Pro-Change’s evidence-based programs and Quality Health Solutions comprehensive wellness services for the impact they produce on entire populations of employees.”
For a full description of the Innovation profile, please visit www.innovations.ahrq.gov.
About the AHRQ Health Care Innovations Exchange
The U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality created the Health Care Innovations Exchange to speed the implementation of new and better ways of delivering health care. The Innovations Exchange supports the Agency’s mission to improve the quality of health care and reduce disparities. For more information, please visit www.innovations.ahrq.gov.
About Quality Health Solutions
Quality Health Solutions, Inc. was founded in 2001 with a mission to encourage personal responsibility for health and well-being. Its services are designed to help enhance health and well-being by reducing lifestyle risk factors, preventing future disease, and improving health-related quality of life. Through these services, QHS helps people discover their motivation and confidence, overcome challenges, and identify resources to achieve positive, healthy choices. QHS is the first and only wellness company offering assessments and interventions that were developed and proven effective by the scientific rigors of population level clinical trials. To learn more, please visit www.qualityhealthsolutions.com.
Starting in 2012, select members of the YMCA of Middle Tennessee will participate in Pro-Change’s LifeStyle suite of programs. Pro-Change’s health risk intervention (HRI) and behavior change programs will be integrated into the curriculum of two of the Y’s successful offerings:
- Hope for Health, is a relationship-focused, result driven program in which a health coach works with mothers, ages 18-45, in underserved urban and rural areas of Middle Tennessee over a 12-week period. Through lifestyle and behavior education and intervention the group seeks to positively impact the health and well-being of the women and their families.
- Restore Ministries, is a Christian-based counseling program that provides hope and healing to members looking to make lasting life changes by focusing on the whole person – spirit, mind, and body. Through a combination of small group classes and individual counseling services, members receive the support and guidance they need to overcome a variety of life-controlling issues ranging from low self-esteem to co-dependency, addictions, and more.
Participants in both programs will complete Pro-Change’s online HRI to pinpoint their stage of readiness to change for various health risks and receive targeted guidance on the most important steps that can be taken to progress to the next stage of change. Participants will be encouraged to share their printed HRI report with staff leaders of those groups. YMCA Staff have completed Pro-Change’s 4-hour e-Learning training module as well as an in-person training conducted by Kerry Evers, Ph.D., Senior Vice President at Pro-Change. Through those training opportunities, staff are prepared to coach participants on selecting certain behavioral risks to work on and identifying stage-matched goals for each. Participants will have access to up to 9 behavior change programs included in the LifeStyle suite to support their behavior change needs and goals.
“Pro-Change’s LifeStyle programs will enhance our ability to walk alongside our members as they work to make lasting lifestyle changes,” says Ted Cornelius, Executive Director, Tennessee YMCA State Alliance and Pioneering Healthier Communities. Cornelius adds, “The stage-matched, individualized and evidence-based foundation of the programs matches with our Y’s aim to meet our members where they are at and offer the best support and guidance we can to help them improve their overall health and well-being. Many of our program participants come to us because they’ve reached a point in life where they need extra help, and Pro-Change’s programs will only increase the level of support we’re able to provide.”
About the YMCA of Middle TN
The YMCA of MiddleTN Worksite Wellness program is part of the YMCA of Middle Tennessee, a nonprofit, worldwide charitable fellowship united by a common loyalty to Jesus Christ for the purpose of helping people grow in spirit, mind and body. For more than 136 years, the YMCA of Middle Tennessee has been giving people of all ages the tools they need to learn, grow and thrive. With 31 centers and 328 program locations, the YMCA reaches 329,697 lives – 1 of every 6 people in the 12-county area it serves – by nuturing the potential of children and teens, improving the nation’s health and well-being and providing opportunities to serve others and support our neighbors.
Pro-Change Launches Trial of an iPad-delivered Multiple Behavior, Multiple Language Program for Pregnant WomenDecember 23rd, 2011
This month Pro-Change launched a randomized clinical trial of Healthy Pregnancy: Step by Step at six federally qualified health center sites offering prenatal care to underserved women in Rhode Island, New York, and Connecticut. With funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Pro-Change developed a multiple behavior computer tailored intervention (CTI) offering individualized guidance based on stage of readiness for smoking cessation and maintenance, stress management, and healthy eating. A color-printed feedback report and a printed multiple behavior change manual serve as adjuncts to the CTI. A total of 368 women are expected to participate in the study, and all components of the intervention are offered in English and Spanish. With this project, Pro-Change has expanded its core web application capabilities by including extensive interactivity within the tailored feedback screens of the CTI, adding multiple languages, and the optimizing of the entire intervention for iPad delivery.
During the next six months, study participants will be recruited from the three prenatal care sites of the Community Health Center, Inc. of Connecticut (Meriden, Middletown, and Clinton), the two sites of Open Door Family Medical Centers in Ossining and Port Chester, NY, and the Woonsocket, RI site of Thundermist Health Center. Women will be invited to participate in the program three times during their pregnancy. At each session, women in the treatment group will receive stage-matched and tailored guidance on two behavioral risks with attention placed on making and sustaining behavioral changes into the postpartum period. Follow-up assessments will be completed at one and four months post childbirth.
At all health center sites women will interact with the program on iPads in a self-directed manner. Usability testing with the target population demonstrated strong feasibility and enthusiasm for using iPads. Pamela Ferrari, RN, Director of Performance Improvement at Open Door commented, “The flexible and mobile delivery platform of iPads will enable us to test this program and integrate it into our standard prenatal care more easily. Women can carry the iPad with them through our prenatal care flow and engage in science-based behavioral health counseling while they wait to see their provider. This is a welcomed enhancement that we are pleased to offer our English and Spanish speaking prenatal patients.”
Outcomes of the trial are anticipated to be available early in 2013. A demonstration of the program can be viewed at www.prochange.com/pregnancydemo. For more information about the CTI or printed behavior change manuals, please contact Dr. Leanne Mauriello, Principal Investigator and Vice President at Pro-Change at email@example.com.
About Open Door
Founded in 1972 in the basement of the First Baptist Church in Ossining, NY, Open Door was first operated as a free clinic, staffed by nearly 100 local volunteers. Today Open Door is a nationally recognized, federally qualified community health center serving as the health care home to more than 40,000 individuals in Westchester. Open Door’s facilities are located in designated underserved communities, serving those who are hardest to reach. Patients make over 170,000 visits annually to its sites in Ossining, Port Chester, Mt. Kisco, Sleepy Hollow, and its five school-based health centers in Port Chester. Accredited by The Joint Commission, Open Door ensures quality through its board-certified and board-eligible physicians, staff, exceptional quality improvement program, and a robust electronic medical record platform. For more information about Open Door, please visit www.opendoormedical.org.
Thundermist Health Center is a private, nonprofit community health center serving three communities in Rhode Island and serving 28,000 patients statewide. It is the second largest community health center in Rhode Island and has been part of the federal community health center program for over two decades. Thundermist continually strives for continuous quality improvement and innovation and is a proven leader in community health in Rhode Island. For over forty years, Thundermist has been fulfilling its mission to provide affordable, culturally competent, comprehensive primary care when and where it is needed most, with dignity and respect. For more information about Thundermist Health Center, please visit www.thundermisthealth.org.
About Community Health Center, Inc.
Community Health Center (CHC) is a statewide, independent private nonprofit organization. CHC provides high-quality medical, dental and behavioral health services to over 130,000 active patients living in nearly every Connecticut city and town. For more information about Community Health Center, Inc., please visit chc1.com.
Pro-Change Behavior Systems, Inc. has launched the 2012 upgrade to its URAC Gold Award Winning LifeStyle Suite’s eight programs including Stress Management, Smoking Cessation, Healthy Eating, Exercise, Weight Management, Depression Prevention, Managing Your Cholesterol, and Managing Your High Blood Pressure.
The upgrade includes:
- iPad and smart phone optimization
- a Spanish version of the Health Risk Intervention which assesses health and behavior risks, the user’s readiness to change them, and then provides stage-targeted feedback
productivity and functionality measures included in the Health Risk Intervention
- new Interactive Personal Activity Centers which contain tools, games, quizzes, testimonials, electronic flip books, and activities designed to complement the guidance received in the computerized tailored behavior change programs
a fully integrated Weight Management program that includes tailored messages on healthy eating, exercise, and emotional eating with stage-matched goals
- capability, when requested, to now add to the Suite the Proactive Health Consumer program which is designed to guide the user to engage in shared decision making with their health care providers, make informed decisions about tests and treatments, and to use health care services in a financially responsible way
- capabilities for tailored text messaging by Transtheoretical Model constructs that drive the most change.
“We are now pleased to be able to offer a fuller user experience that is optimized for ease of use,” stated Janice M. Prochaska, PhD, President and CEO of Pro-Change. “We would be glad to work with anyone wanting a demo of our new features.”
West Kingston, RI – “The Stages of Change: Break a habit. Achieve a goal. Transform Your life” is the lead article in the November issue of the magazine Experience Life and is listed in the top 10 most read list on their home page. The six-page article is written in a style that is easily understandable to a broad reading population. The article not only describes each of the stages of change in plain language, but also gives guidance on what readers can do to help create forward momentum through the stages of change whether they are not ready, getting ready, or ready to change. For the full article please visit http://www.experiencelife.com/issues/november-2011/life-wisdom/the-stages-of-change.php.
Experience Life is an award-winning health and fitness publication that puts forth the concept that being healthy is a revolutionary act. Experience Life is recognized for being one of the best researched, most reliable, and most forward-thinking magazines of its time.
“We are pleased that Experience Life took the time to interview us at Pro-Change and to write a very thorough and helpful article for the general public,” stated Janice M. Prochaska, PhD, President and CEO of Pro-Change Behavior Systems, Inc.
About Experience Life
The mission of Experience Life is to empower our readers to become their best, most authentic selves and to support their enjoyment of a healthy, balanced, deeply satisfying way of life. Experience Life seeks to provide road maps toward real and lasting self-improvement. For more information, please visit www.experiencelife.com.
West Kingston, RI – September 8, 2011 - Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE) proudly names Dr. James O. Prochaska and First Lady Michelle Obama as its 2011 Honorary Fellows. The honorary fellow is the highest SOPHE award to a nonmember who has made significant and lasting contributions to the field of health education and improving the public’s health.
Dr. Prochaska pioneered the Transtheoretical Model, which outlines stages of change and matches strategies for health behavior change. Now more than three decades old, the model is arguably one of the most widely applied in health education research and practice.
“Dr. Prochaska’s teaching, research, and writings around the Transtheoretical Model pioneered a new and innovative paradigm for shaping health education interventions, particularly in cancer prevention and control,” notes SOPHE Chief Executive Officer Elaine Auld, MPH, MCHES. “SOPHE is proud to honor Dr. Prochaska and his remarkable legacy to improving the public’s health.”
Since 2010, Mrs. Obama has led a national campaign to improve the health and fitness of America’s children. The “Let’s Move” campaign has galvanized health, human service, transportation, civic, business, media, and other sectors both within and outside of government to tackle the problem of childhood obesity through improved nutrition and physical activity opportunities.
With the First Lady’s leadership, the nation has catalyzed national attention and action on one of our most pressing public health problems today – childhood obesity, ” says Dan Perales, DrPh, SOPHE President. “The ‘Let’s Move’ campaign helps address the critical social, educational, environmental, and other determinants that affect the health of our nation’s youngest citizens and future workforce.”
Both Dr. Prochaska and Mrs. Obama are invited to speak at SOPHE’s 62nd Annual Meeting, October 28-29 in Arlington, VA. The honorary Fellow Awards will be presented as SOPHE convenes the nation’s largest independent gathering of behavioral scientists, and health education researchers, practitioners, and students. For more information about the SOPHE Annual Meeting and/or a list of past Honorary Fellows, please visit www.sophe.org.
Founded in 1950, The Society for Public Health Education’s mission is to provide global leadership to the profession of health education and to promote the health of society. SOPHE promotes healthy behaviors, healthy communities, and healthy environments through its membership, its network of 19 regional/state chapters, and its numerous partnerships with other organizations. For more information about SOPHE, please visit www.sophe.org.
Pro-Change Behavior Systems, Inc., a certified Women’s Business Enterprise, is the leading research and development company for computer- and coaching-based programs for changing health risk behaviors. Based on the Transtheoretical Model developed by founder Dr. James O. Prochaska, Pro-Change programs are for entire populations and are uniquely tailored to each individual. Pro-Change programs have produced unprecedented impacts on multiple behaviors to enhance health and reduce health care costs. In 2009, Pro-Change’s LifeStyle Management Programs for Stress Management, Depression Prevention, Weight Management, Exercising Regularly, Smoking Cessation, and Medication Adherence won the URAC Gold Award for Best Practices in Health Management. For more information about Pro-Change, please visit www.prochange.com.
Joint Healthways/Pro-Change study Emphasizes Importance of Multi-faceted Well-Being Approach as Key to Improve Presenteeism and ProductivitySeptember 6th, 2011
Reduced Productivity Occurs as Chronic Conditions and Risk Behaviors Increase; and as Physical and Emotional Health Decreases
Findings from a new study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine suggest that organizations may want to review their approaches to managing presenteeism – productivity loss from employees who are physically present at work, yet perform sub-optimally due to health problems or other barriers such as personal problems or worries. Rather than focusing exclusively on physical health, employers can more effectively influence productivity by holistically measuring presenteeism and providing actionable information focused on physical, social, and emotional health and well-being.
Presenteeism is currently estimated to cost the United States more than $150 billion annually, accounting for 71% of the total costs of lost productivity.1 This collaborative study, conducted by Pro-Change Behavior Systems, Inc. and Healthways, developed and evaluated the Well-Being Assessment for Productivity (WBA-P) as an assessment of job performance loss due to well-being related barriers.
By surveying 1,827 employed individuals, the study confirms that the WBA-P is a valid and reliable measure of presenteeism, showing productivity loss increased significantly as the number of chronic conditions and risk factors increased and as overall physical and emotional health decreased. In addition, it shows lower productivity for those that expressed they are struggling and suffering in their life evaluation.
“While previous research has supported the negative impact absenteeism has on organizations, the Well-Being Assessment for Productivity is the first measure of presenteeism that captures a range of performance barriers related to work and ‘personal’ life, said James O. Prochaska, PhD, Founder, Pro-Change Behavior Systems, Inc. “This study marks a critical turning point in solving the presenteeism problem, as employers are now capable of identifying, customizing treatments for, and tracking specific sources of productivity loss across business, business units, and teams.”
The WBA-P is a component of Healthways Well-Being Assessment, a measurement instrument which provides organizations information on the overall well-being of their employees as well as the impact well-being is having on the productivity of the workforce. The Well-Being Assessment allows organizations to deliver a single measure that will provide the information needed to guide well-being and performance enhancement programs and to measure their impact on employee productivity.
“These findings clearly show it is critical to consider a broader view of presenteeism and specific sources of productivity loss as part of a well-being improvement strategy,” said James E. Pope, Chief Science Officer at Healthways. “Business leaders must provide solutions that support employees in their homes, communities, and work environments in order to improve overall well-being, which in turn improves productivity and reduces costs.”
Article: “The Well-Being Assessment for Productivity; A Well-Being Approach to Presenteeism.” James O. Prochaska, PhD, Kerry E. Evers, PhD, Janet L. Johnson, PhD, Patricia H. Castle, MA, Janice M. Prochaska, PhD, Lindsay E. Sears, PhD, Elizabeth Y. Rula, PhD, and James E. Pope, MD; Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Published July 2011.
Full Study Available: The Well-Being Assessment for Productivity; A Well-Being Approach to Presenteeism.
For more about Healthways, please visit www.healthways.com.
1. Stewart WF, Ricca JA, Chee E, Morganstein D. Lost productive work time costs from health conditions in the United States: results from the American Productivity Audit. J Occup Environ Med. 2003; 45: 1227-1234.
Kerry Evers, Ph.D., Senior Vice President of Research and Development, has been named one of the state’s top business people in the annual “40 Under Forty” feature in Providence Business News (PBN). Kerry is one of 40 young professionals (business and nonprofit leaders) chosen from more than 115 nominees, based on career success and community involvement. PBN seeks the best and the brightest in the state of Rhode Island who have made a commitment to making a difference on a local, national, or international scale.
Kerry started her work at Pro-Change by obtaining Pro-Change’s first Small Business Innovative Research funding in 1998, and has continued to work with some of Pro-Change’s largest and longest term partnerships. She has led and played an integral part in research and product development for behaviors ranging from stress management and bullying prevention; the use of the Internet in affecting health behavior change, proactive health consumerism, and well-being; to text messaging for smoking cessation and programs for veterans with mild to moderate PTSD. “Kerry’s strong leadership and willingness to take risks has brought new technologies and cutting edge innovations to Pro-Change” stated Janice M. Prochaska, President & CEO. “Kerry is one of the original founders who helped launch Pro-Change in 1997 and continues to help Pro-Change thrive.”
Kerry’s reputation has grown throughout the behavioral-science field. She has written roughly 40 published works and has had speaking engagements at nearly 100 conferences in more than 10 countries. She is an Associate Editor for the American Journal of Health Promotion, and adjunct faculty at the University of Rhode Island. In 2009, she was one of 20 experts to participate in the “Forum on the Future Impact of Neuroscience and Behavior Change.” She is often asked to review for grant funding agencies and journals, and serves as the Chair of the Multiple Behavior Change Special Interest Group for the Society of Behavioral Medicine as well as a track chair for a variety of conferences.
Kerry’s work has also been recognized by military leaders. In 2008, Evers was selected by the U.S. Office of the Secretary of Defense as one of 50 leaders from across the nation to participate in the 76th Joint Civilian Orientation Conference. In 2009 she was invited to attend the 56th Annual National Security Forum at the Air War College.
Kerry is equally as dedicated to influencing change in the community. She is on the Board of Directors for South Kingstown CARES, a nonprofit volunteer organization that supports the town’s school district. She has also worked with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, the American Cancer Society, and several other local nonprofit organizations. Evers, a 3rd degree Black Belt in Okinawan Karate, also assists with teaching and programs at her karate studio.
About Providence Business News
Providence Business News, nicknamed PBN, is a weekly business newspaper focusing on the economy in Rhode Island and Bristol County, Massachusetts. For information about PBN, please visit www.pbn.com.
Pro-Change has approval through the American Psychological Association and the National Association of Social Workers for 4 contact hours of clinical continuing educational credits for the e-Learning course titled, “Basic Transtheoretical Model Training.” The online course teaches clinicians and health care professionals the basic concepts and strategies to effectively use the Transtheoretical Model of Behavior Change (TTM) when working with clients. Pro-Change’s President and CEO, Janice M. Prochaska, stated that “We are pleased to now offer CEs to psychologists and social workers. By fall 2011, we intend to expand to public health professionals.”
The course incorporates activities such as role-plays, knowledge checks, and a 25-item multiple-choice certificate test to further strengthen the concepts learned. It includes additional features such as closed captioning, recorded narration, and a resource library.
By the end of the interactive four-hour course, which can be completed in one or multiple sittings, the learner should be able to:
- Understand and describe the characteristics of people in each Stage of Change – Precontemplation, Contemplation, Preparation, Action, Maintenance, and Termination.
- Describe the four main constructs of the TTM - stage of change, decisional balance, self- efficacy, and processes of change.
- Identify which TTM principles and processes to employ at each Stage of Change (e.g., in Precontemplation to raise the Pros, in Maintenance to focus on preventing relapse).
- List and define techniques of Motivational Interviewing (MI), a way of working with clients that complements the TTM to support behavior change.
Initial course users have said:
“My experience with e-Learning training left me with a thorough understanding of the stages of behavior change as they are applied in assisting members/participants in changing lifestyle behaviors. There were excellent examples of how to incorporate strategies and kind encouragement in meeting a participant member where they currently are in their journey of making changes toward a healthier way of living.” (Coach)
“My first gut reaction is it is great, easy to follow, very organized, very professional and loaded with information. It is great to review in such a well thought out format.” (Health Professional)
“…the virtual teacher was great-not too robotic, which some can be. And I thought the way the role-playing was handled was also great – you visually got the idea, without needing a video. The course explained many things about the TTM that were nebulous to me before.” (Researcher)
To order or inquire about this course, please contact Pro-Change at e-Learning@prochange.com or call 401-874-9284.
Pro-Change’s partner Healthways was recently selected by France’s Caisse Nationale d’Assurance Maladie des Travailleurs Salariés (CNAMTS) Sophia program to improve health and well-being for all citizens with diabetes, in France and French Territories overseas. Integration of the CNAMTS information system and Healthways’ Embrace™ Platform and infrastructure is expected to take 7-8 months, during which period Altran, the French consulting firm will provide expert technology consulting services. At the same time, the CNAMTS clinicians will be trained in the Transtheoretical Model of Behavior Change theory and practice. The Embrace software to be used includes Pro-Change’s programs that match interventions to the individual patient’s stages of change. Pro-Change’s behavior change programs received the URAC Gold Medal Award for their LifeStyle Management Suite.
The 4-year contract awarded to Healthways, in partnership with Altran (Euronext: ALT), was made following an extensive evaluation process which reviewed proposals from approximately 20 potential service providers including two global technology firms, a multinational health insurance firm, a multinational pharmacy benefits manager, and the incumbent service supplier.
Pro-Change accompanied Healthways to Paris to be part of the evaluation process. The national health care system in France is rated as the best in the world by the World Health Organization. Janice M. Prochaska, President & CEO of Pro-Change stated, “Given how competitive this process was and given the high esteem of France’s health care system, it is an honor for Pro-Change to contribute to this contract.” For a full press release of this contract in PDF, click here.
La Caisse Nationale d’Assurance Maladie des Travailleurs Salariés (CNAMTS), the national health insurance fund for salaried workers in France, is under the supervision of both the Health Ministry and Finance and Economy Ministry. CNAMTS is the primary health insurer for 56 million lives, almost 86% of the French population. It is also responsible for optimization of the healthcare system as well as implementing coordinated treatment pathways throughout the country, with the primary care doctor at the centre of this system. As the key player in the healthcare system for which it ensures medical control, CNAMTS ensures that expenditures are balanced with allocated public resources. For more information, please visit www.ameli.fr.
As European leader in Innovation and High-Tech Consulting, Altran has been providing services for almost thirty years to key players in the Automotive, Aeronautics, Telecoms, Energy, Healthcare and Finance sectors. Thanks to its expertise in the fields of advanced technology and innovation, the Group is able to advise and accompany its clients in the creation and development of their products and services. Present at every stage of project development from strategic planning through to manufacturing, Altran provides new technology services in the fields of Innovation Management, Mechanical Engineering, Engineering and Embedded Systems, IT Systems and Performance Management. For more information, please visit www.altran.com.
For more information about Healthways, please visit www.healthways.com.
Pro-Change Delivers a Very Strong Presence at the 21st Annual Art & Science of Health Promotion ConferenceMay 11th, 2011
Pro-Change Behavior Systems, Inc. founder James P. Prochaska, Ph.D., and Senior Vice Presidents Kerry Evers, Ph.D., and Sara Johnson, Ph.D., delivered break-out sessions and research reports at the 21st Annual Art and Science of Health Promotion Conference on March 23-25, 2011 at The Broadmoor, Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Over the course of three days, a series of keynote lectures, breakout sessions, and poster sessions addressed the conference theme, “Capturing the Wisdom of Practice and the Rigor of Research: Discovering the Best Health Promotion Strategies.” Two sessions were delivered by Prochaska on “Breakthroughs in the Science of Health Behavior Change” and “Breakthroughs in the Practice of Health Behavior Change”; two sessions by Evers on “The Science of Well-Being: Impact on Productivity” and “The Science of Well-Being: Implications for Program Development”; and a research report by Johnson on “Options for Tailoring Multiple Behavior Change Interventions: How Can We Maximize Co-Variation?”
Poster sessions were also presented on three of Pro-Change’s programs: “Randomized Trial of a Computer-Tailored Intervention for Patients with Depression” (Deborah A. Levesque, Ph.D., et al.); Development and Usability Testing of a Financial Well-Being Intervention Combining the Wisdom of Practice and the Rigor of Science” (Sara S. Johnson, et al.), and “Proactive Health Consumer: Research and Development of an Innovative Program” (Carol Cummins, et al.).
About Art & Science of Health Promotion Conference
The Annual Conference, organized by the American Journal of Health Promotion, has a long standing tradition of bringing together practitioners, scientists, and educators from across disciplines to learn and share their experience with health promoters. For more informaton, please visit http://www.healthpromotionconference.org/.
On April 27, 2011, Pro-Change Behavior Systems, Inc., a leader in multiple behavior change, is sponsoring a full-day Special Interest Group course on “Multiple Health Behavior Change: State of the Science and Opportunities for Collaboration” at the 32nd Annual Meeting and Scientific Sessions of the Society of Behavioral Medicine (SBM) in Washington, D.C.
Organizers of the Pre-Conference Day Workshop, Kerry Evers, Ph.D. and Claudio Nigg, Ph.D., will showcase the latest advances in research and innovations in the multiple behavior change area and will provide opportunities for collaboration and networking among attendees. James O. Prochaska, Ph.D., founder of Pro-Change, will provide the lead-in lecture, giving an update on the field, reviewing recent research, and speaking to the future. A series of multiple behavior change investigators will follow, including Brian Oldenburg, Ph.D., Sara Johnson, Ph.D., and Judith Prochaska, Ph.D., as well as Jonathan King, Ph.D. from the National Institute on Aging. The afternoon will involve breakout sessions on four specific areas, including special populations and intervention designs. To register for the course or conference, contact http://www.sbm.org/meetings.
Also at the conference on Friday afternoon April 29, 2011, Pro-Change staff, Drs. Leanne Mauriello and Kerry Evers, will lead a symposium titled “Successful Dissemination from Start to Finish: Innovative Strategies for Achieving Success in Recruitment, Delivery, and Retention of Behavior Change Programs.” Presenters will include Chris Carter from MeYouHealth on “Lessons learned in Engaging Participants”; Deborah Van Marter from Pro-Change on “Designing and Implementing Behavior Change Programs for Dissemination Across a Variety of Delivery Channels”, and Drs. Yun Lee and Murat Kalayoglu from Health Honors on “Behavioral Sustainment through Behavioral Economics.”
Finally, Simay Gokbayrak, B.A. will lead a poster session on Pro-Change’s recent successful pilot titled “Responsible Drinking for Employees: Preliminary Outcomes of an Internet-Delivered Tailored Intervention.”
“We are very pleased to have such a strong presence at the Society of Behavioral Medicine this year, especially for our Multiple Behavior Change efforts,” stated Janice M. Prochaska, Ph.D., President and CEO of Pro-Change.
About the Society of Behavioral Medicine (SBM)
The Society of Behavioral Medicine is a multidisciplinary organization of clinicians, educators, and scientists dedicated to promoting the study of the interactions of behavior with biology and the environment, and the application of that knowledge to improve the health and well-being of individuals, families, communities, and populations. For more information about SBM, please visit www.sbm.org.
On March 5, 2011 at Columbia University’s Faculty Club, James O. Prochaska, PhD was one of six inaugural recipients to receive the Beckman Award.
The Beckman Award is given to current or former academic faculty members who have inspired their students to establish, on a lasting basis, a movement of major benefit to the community at large. Jim was nominated by John Norcross, PhD, Professor of Psychology and Distinguished University Fellow, University of Scranton and Editor-in-Chief of Clinical Psychology. John was Jim’s graduate student 30 years ago when he worked with Jim on the first National Cancer Institute grant studying the Stages of Change.
In his nomination, Dr. Norcross stated:
“Search Google for the stages of change and you will discover over 10,100,000 sources. Venture into the professional literature and you will find more than 3,000 journal articles on psychology’s electronic database. Pick up virtually any textbook on the addictions, clinical psychology, health psychology, behavior change, or health promotion and you will assuredly discover a section dealing with the stages of change (precontemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, and maintenance) and the broader transtheoretical model. That has been the direct result of Dr. Prochaska’s pioneering research and inspiring generations of scientist-practitioners.”
Dr. Norcross went on to state:
“But professional popularity does not begin to describe the stages’ revolutionary impact on behavior change around the world. Thirty years ago, practically all attempts at behavior change (e.g., psychotherapy, medication, self-initiated change, health promotion) targeted individuals in the action stage: aware of their problem and ready to change it. Unfortunately, only 20% of individuals suffering from life-threatening problems are in the action stage; that is, most treatments were ignoring or mistreating 80% of the population. As a concept, the stages of change represented a paradigm change: from targeting only 20% of the population in the action stage to treating entire populations in all stages. As a procedure, stage-matching interventions lead to tremendous advances in our ability to (a) reach at least four times as many people suffering from behavioral disorders and (b) increase our effectiveness in helping them restore their health and well-being.”
Jim donated part of the Beckman Award to support a special Speakers Series to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Psychology Department and the 30th Anniversary of the Cancer Prevention Research Center at the University of Rhode Island. He also donated part of the award to the Star Island Conference Center for multi-generational conferences designed to enhance the well-being of families from newborns all the way to their great grandparents.
About Elizabeth Hurlock Beckman Award Trust
Dr. Elizabeth Hurlock Beckman was an educator, a renowned author, and a pioneer in the field of psychology. She was one of the first female Psychology professors at Columbia University and she taught at the University of Pennsylvania. She authored nine books and textbooks about child and adolescent psychology. She was a clinician of gender equality and an advocate for the advancement of women in academia. Gail McKnight Beckman created the award in memory of her mother. For additional information, please visit www.wellsfargo.com/privatefoundationgrants/beckman.
A November, 2010 article in the Population Health Management journal by Hamar et al. reported on “The Impact of a Proactive Chronic Care Management Program on Hospital Admission Rates in a German Health Insurance Society.” The study evaluated patients who suffered from coronary artery disease, heart failure, diabetes, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease who consented to participate in the chronic care management program administered by Healthways, Inc. in Germany.
The nurses were trained in the Transtheoretical Model of Behavior Change theory and practice. They used software with Pro-Change’s programs that matched the interventions that they offered to the individual patient’s stage of change. Changes in admission rates were calculated from the year prior to and year after program commencement. Overall, the admission rate in the Intervention group decreased by 6.2% compared with a 14.9% increase in the Comparison group. Additionally, the Intervention group admissions decreased as the number of calls increased indicating a dose-response relationship.
These findings indicate that proactive chronic care management calls can help reduce hospital admissions among German health insurance members with chronic diseases. “The Impact of a Proactive Chronic Care Management Program on Hospital Admission Rates in a German Health Insurance Society” is available online at http://www.liebertonline.com/doi/full/10.1089/pop.2010.0032
About Healthways, Inc.
Healthways is the leading provider of specialized, comprehensive solutions to help millions of people maintain or improve their health and well-being and, as a result, reduce overall costs. Healthways’ solutions are designed to keep healthy people healthy, reduce health-related risks and optimize care for those with chronic illness. Healthways’ proven, evidence-based programs provide highly specific and personalized interventions for each individual in a population, irrespective of age or health status, and are delivered to consumers by phone, mail, Internet, and face-to-face interactions, both domestically and internationally. For more information, please visit www.healthways.com.
Two subcontracts with the Pacific Health Research and Education Institute have been awarded to Pro-Change Behavior Systems, Inc. through funding from the Telemedicine & Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC), an office of the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command (USAMRMC). Dr. Kerry Evers, Senior Vice President at Pro-Change is proud to be working with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in the Pacific. “I think all of us are committed to finding ways to give back to those Veterans who have served on our behalf,” she said. “This work allows us to apply our evidenced-based behavior change strategies to the Veteran population and examine their effectiveness.
The first grant, “Computerized Tailored Interventions for Behavioral Sequelae of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in Veterans” will use Pro-Change’s evidence-based URAC Gold Award winning Stress Management, Depression Prevention, and Smoking Cessation programs, customized for military Veterans who are at risk for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The aim of this project is to enhance the emotional and physical well-being of Veterans, particularly those who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan. The goal of the study will be the reduction of stress, depression, smoking, and PTSD symptomology through the use of online computerized tailored interventions.
The second grant, Cell Phone Based Expert Systems for Smoking Cessation, will use Pro-Change’s evidence-based URAC Gold Award-winning Smoking Cessation program customized for the Veteran population with added personalized feedback through text messaging. “Mobile phones represent a new channel for tailored information to be delivered quickly and inexpensively,” notes Dr. Patricia Jordan, Principal Investigator of the project. “According to recent statistics, almost nine out of ten adults own a wireless or cell phone, and 15% own a Blackberry, Palm, or other Personal Digital Assistant. There is no reason that we cannot be reaching out to people wherever they may be to provide effective teleheath in a number of areas.”
A 3-month randomized control pilot will be conducted to assess the effectiveness of the program to facilitate greater progress to quitting smoking compared to a Computer Tailored Intervention (CTI) assessment and feedback report only. This is the first study to adopt a smoking cessation Internet-based CTI combined with text messaging to change smoking behavior in military Veterans.
About the Pacific Health Research and Education Institute
The Pacific Health Research and Education Institute (PHREI) is an affiliate of the VA Pacific Islands Health Care System (PIHCS). In that role, PHREI develops and conducts research and education programs to address the health and health care needs of Veterans throughout the Pacific. Specific areas include PTSD and its impact on the Veteran, their family members, and their community. For more information, please visit www.phrei.org.
Pro-Change Behavior Systems, Inc. is collaborating with the University of Rhode Island’s (URI) Multicultural Center to help promote and evaluate multicultural competence among their student body. As part of this project, an assessment of readiness to be multiculturally competent and measures for assessing the pros and cons and self-efficacy will be developed and validated. A literature review and interviews with various experts has helped to identify these 7 key behaviors that reflect expressing multicultural competence within knowledge, awareness, and skills: 1) knowing your own cultural identity and values, 2) acknowledging multiple perspectives, 3) placing yourself outside of your comfort zone which causes you to examine your own attitudes, stereotypes, privileges, and actions, 4) engaging in multicultural organizations, activities, and classes, 5) building relationships with others from different backgrounds, 6) advocating for initiatives to advance diversity, and 7) challenging culturally insensitive remarks and behaviors. This study will identify the most important behaviors of multicultural competence.
“Being a multiculturally competent individual is not only an asset, but a requirement for succeeding in today’s global world. By exposing our student body to information and experiences related to cultures, religions, and life experiences that differ from their own and providing them with the skills necessary to be sensitive to and accepting of those differences, we are preparing them to be competent and contributing members of society,” says Melvin Wade, Director of the Multicultural Center, URI.
URI holds an extensive Diversity Week each year during which up to 75 workshops on various topics are held, all with the goal of increasing awareness, skills, and knowledge of diversity on campus and around the world. The assessments developed for this project will be used to help evaluate the effectiveness of Diversity Week at increasing multicultural competence of student attendees. The measures will provide a concrete way to assess the value and benefit in student participation of Diversity Week. In the long term, these measures also can be used to evaluate the impact that attending URI has on multicultural competence by surveying incoming first year students and then following up with them toward the end of their college tenure.
Leanne Mauriello, Ph.D., Vice President at Pro-Change, is pleased to be collaborating with the Multicultural Center on this joint venture.
“These measurement tools will help demonstrate concretely the benefit of the important work and mission of the Multicultural Center.”
About URI’s Multicultural Center
In support of the primary mission of the University toward building a culture of learning, the University of Rhode Island Multicultural Center critically engages students, faculty, staff, administrators, and other allies in creating and sustaining a campus culture in which diverse persons, organizations, and groups can learn and develop to their greatest potential, and participate in society to their maximum ability. For more information, visit http://www.uri.edu/mcc/.
Register for the Live Demo
Wednesday, December 1st, 2010
2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. EDT
Janet Johnson, Ph.D.
Vice President of Research and Product Development
Pro-Change Behavior Systems, Inc.
Today, Pro-Change Behavior Systems, Inc. launched a Healthy Eating Program to improve health and protect the 36% of American adults who are at a healthy weight from becoming overweight or obese. Maintaining a healthy weight is an increasingly difficult challenge in today’s “obeseogenic” society where overconsumption and unhealthy foods have become the norm.
The Pro-Change Program for Healthy Eating comprehensively and broadly addresses healthy eating to promote the adoption of a pattern of eating that encourages the consumption of nutrient-dense foods from a variety of food groups; as well as the limitation of unhealthy nutrients, energy-dense foods, and sodium.
The Healthy Eating program’s recommendations are based on leading national guidelines for healthy eating and nutrition, including those of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society, and the American Diabetes Association. The Program incorporated all of the recommendations from the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans which recommends a “total” diet approach.
Given each national guideline’s emphasis on fruit and vegetable consumption as a cornerstone of healthy eating habits, the program first assesses and provides individualized Transtheoretical Model-based feedback on fruit and vegetable intake. Consistent with the dietary guidelines, the program provides tailored feedback on other important elements of the “total diet,” including servings of whole grains, low-fat dairy products, and lean proteins, as well as calorie and saturated fat intake.
The computer-tailored intervention leads directly to an interactive stage-based portal, which contains tools, games, quizzes, testimonials, flip books, grocery lists, and other activities designed to compliment the feedback the user received in their session.
The Healthy Eating Program is now part of Pro-Change’s URAC Gold Award winning LifeStyle Suite which has a completely redesigned user experience that is optimized for ease of use, participant retention, and cross-browser compatibility.
The redesign includes:
- New graphic look and feel
- Brand flexible screen templates
- Intuitive navigation
- Addition of sleep, having a primary care provider, and responsible drinking behaviors to the Health Risk Intervention (HRI)
- Shortened individualized feedback
- Added stage-matched goals.
On air financial journalist and author Stacey Tisdale has enlisted the help of Pro-Change Behavior Systems, Inc. to launch a Life Skills and Financial Literacy Program called Winning Play$. The program will be delivered to high school students nationwide in partnership with NFL Hall of Famer, Ronnie Lott’s All Stars Helping Kids Foundation. It will first be pilot tested in three Bridgeport, Connecticut public high schools starting November 4, 2010.
Winning Play$ is unique in that, in addition to providing lessons on financial literacy from the Council for Economic Education, the program will show students how social messages from advertisers and media, stereotypes about race and gender, and early role modeling play key roles in their financial behavior. Winning Play$ also includes behavior change messages and assessments based on the Transtheoretical Model of Change (TTM).
Tisdale and All Stars Helping Kids plan to disseminate the program to 1 million students in underserved communities to ensure that they have the financial literacy skills to meet the national standards established by the JumpStart Coalition and that they can overcome any stereotypes or conditioned perceptions that might prevent them from reaching their goals.
Pro-Change participated in the development and evaluation of the curriculum in several ways. They provided recommendations on seamlessly integrating messages based on the TTM to facilitate behavior change related to making responsible financial choices. Pro-Change also contributed to the evaluation by developing an assessment of important behavior change variables that will be used as a pre-and-post test.
Sara Johnson, PhD and Senior Vice President of Pro-Change stated, “We appreciated the opportunity to be involved in this important endeavor to increase the financial literacy of students. We share Stacey’s commitment to contribute to the future financial well-being of our nation’s youth.”
About Stacey Tisdale
On air journalist, Stacey Tisdale provides business reports for CBS News National and local TV and radio broadcasts. She is US Contributing Editor for Shattered magazine and reports on The American Consumer, a PBS show. She has appeared on numerous programs, including The Oprah Winfrey Show and the Today show. She has reported on business and financial issues for more than 15 years, starting at Dow Jones, where she produced, wrote, and hosted programming for Wall Street Journal television, now CNBC. For more information on Stacey, please visit www.truecostofhappiness.com.
About All Stars Helping Kids Foundation
All Stars Helping Kids was founded by Hall of Famer, Ronne Lott in 1989. All Stars has created a national coalition of athletes, foundations, individuals, and corporations to advance programs and policies that address the needs of the whole child. By serving as a hub for coordinating various events, platforms and grant making practices nationwide, All Stars activities ultimately lead to better academic and physical enrichment programs in low-income areas and to more students on the path to college. For more information about All Stars Helping Kids, please visit www.allstarshelpingkids.org.
Pro-Change Behavior Systems, Inc. has been awarded a Phase II Small Business Innovation Research grant by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to complete the development and to test the effectiveness of a multiple behavior computer tailored intervention for pregnant women, Healthy Pregnancy: Step by Step. This intervention offers tailored guidance based on stage of readiness for smoking cessation and maintenance, stress management, and healthy eating. Intervention content focuses on the importance of adopting and sustaining those behaviors during pregnancy and into the postpartum for the health of both the mother and baby. A printed feedback report and multiple behavior change manual will serve as adjuncts to the intervention. Spanish versions of the intervention, report, and manual will also be created.
As part of this two-year grant, 368 pregnant women will be recruited from the community health center locations to participate in three intervention sessions and two follow-up assessments to determine the effectiveness of Healthy Pregnancy at initiating behavior change for all three critical health behaviors. Dr. Margaret Flinter, Vice President and Clinical Director of the Community Health Center, Inc., expresses her enthusiasm and support for this research and program development. “It pleases me to continue our strong collaboration with Pro-Change toward developing an evidence-based behavior change intervention for pregnant women. This program will serve as an asset toward delivering comprehensive prenatal care at our centers throughout Connecticut.”
During 2007-2008, Pro-Change, with funding from the CDC, developed a prototype of Healthy Pregnancy which was pilot tested with 87 pregnant women at various locations of the Community Health Center, Inc. The overwhelming majority of women (90%) rated the program exceptionally high on all fourteen evaluation items including that the program could help them be healthier, that they learned new information about having a healthy pregnancy, and that they would recommend the program to a friend. In addition, after the one session pilot program women reported recognizing increased benefits to changing their health behaviors and intentions to make behavioral changes. Participants reported planning to smoke fewer cigarettes, to increase effective stress management, and to eat more servings of fruits and vegetables each day. “Healthy Pregnancy will enable providers, in a feasible and cost-effective format, to offer women science-based, expert advice on health behaviors critical to a healthy pregnancy, mother, and baby. This intervention will serve as an important complement to prenatal care,” says Dr. Leanne Mauriello, Principal Investigator of the project.
Two publications based on the Phase I research and pilot test have been accepted for publication in the Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health in Public Health Nursing. A demonstration of the Healthy Pregnancy prototype can be viewed at www.prochange.com/pregnancydemo.
To meet the demands of distance learning, Pro-Change Behavior Systems, Inc. now offers an e-Learning course titled, Basic Transtheoretical Model Training. This online course teaches coaches and other health care professionals the basic concepts and strategies needed to effectively use the Transtheoretical Model of Behavior Change (TTM) when working with clients.
The course incorporates activities such as role-plays, knowledge checks, and a 25-item multiple-choice certificate test to further strengthen the concepts learned. It includes additional features such as close captioning, recorded narration, and a resource library.
By the end of this interactive four-hour course, which can be completed in one or multiple sittings, the learner will be able to:
- Understand and describe the characteristics of people in each Stage of Change – Precontemplation, Contemplation, Preparation, Action, Maintenance, and Termination.
- Describe the four main constructs of the TTM – stage of change, decisional balance, self-efficacy, and processes of change.
- Know which TTM principles and processes to employ at each Stage of Change (e.g., in Precontemplation to raise the Pros, in Maintenance to focus on preventing relapse).
- List and define techniques of Motivational Interviewing (MI), a way of working with clients that complements the TTM to support behavior change.
Cost: $100/user. To order or inquire about this course, please contact Pro-Change at firstname.lastname@example.org or 401-874-9284.
Visit http://www.prochange.com/e-learning for more information.
In Winning Health Promotion Strategies, author Anne Marie Ludovici-Connolly shares tips, techniques, and success stories based on her experiences implementing the governor’s award-winning Get Fit Rhode Island Program, which was instrumental in Rhode Island being named the first Well State in the nation by the Wellness Councils of America. The author has gathered examples from model initiatives and evidence-based programs, such as Pro-Change’s URAC Award Winning LifeStyle Programs and advice from experts in the wellness industry, such as James O. Prochaska, lead developer of the Transtheoretical Model. The book provides information on how to succeed, whether the goal is to start a new program or to increase the visibility of existing programs:
- Information on the benefits of health and wellness programming in various settings
- A step-by-step approach to program design and implementation
- Tips and techniques for maximizing participation
- Strategies for assessing and evaluating initiatives.
For more information on Winning Health Promotion Strategies, visit www.HumanKinetics.com or call 1-800-747-4457.
About the author
Anne Marie Ludovici-Connolly has over 30 years of experience in the health and wellness industry. From 2005 to 2008, Ludovici-Connolly served as director of the Governor’s Get Fit Rhode Island program, a statewide wellness initiative. She conducted a wide range of research projects and also developed and taught various health and wellness courses for the University of Rhode Island. She was owner and operator of Wakefield Health and Fitness for eight years. She is currently a national senior consultant and subject matter expert in health and productivity for Hewitt Associates, a global HR consulting and outsourcing company, and also serves as a scholar in residence at the University of Rhode Island’s Cancer Prevention Research Center, home of the Transtheoretical Model of Behavior Change.
Starting in September, members of the Kent County YMCA, Warwick, Rhode Island will be offered access to Pro-Change’s award-winning suite of LifeStyle Health Behavior Change programs. As part of this pilot program, titled MyHealth at the YMCA, members will be invited to take Pro-Change’s online Health Risk Intervention (HRI) either at computer kiosks located at the YMCA or at any Internet-enabled computer. The HRI will start the change process by pinpointing the member’s stage of readiness to change for various health risks and offering targeted guidance on the most important steps that can be taken to progress to the next stage of change.
YMCA members will be invited to meet with Member Navigators, who are YMCA staff, trained to discuss the HRI feedback and to assist in setting wellness goals based on readiness. Members will have access to seven behavior change programs including, smoking cessation, stress management, depression prevention, weight management, exercising regularly, and adherence to prescribed antihypertensive and/or cholesterol lowering medication. “This pilot is a great opportunity to expand the reach of our programs to more people in Rhode Island and to test the feasibility of delivering such programs at a state-of-the-art wellness center,” said Leanne Mauriello, Ph.D., Vice President of Research and Product Development for Pro-Change.
Pro-Change’s LifeStyle Management Suite of programs won the 2009 URAC Gold Award in Health Management at the Best Practices in a Health Care Consumer Empowerment and Protection Conference. Each time a YMCA member returns to a program (no more than once a month) they receive tailored feedback on how they are doing, what change strategies they are using well, which they may be under utilizing, and what steps they can take to continue progressing. The programs are built to help those not ready, getting ready, and ready to make a behavior change.
Each LifeStyle program is complemented by an engaging interactive e-Workbook filled with activities that promote the use of recommended strategies. Easily accessed from the user’s homepage, the e-Workbooks can be used at anytime.
Cindy McDermott, Vice President, YMCA of Greater Providence, is thrilled to offer Kent County members access to evidence-based behavior change programs through this pilot program. “The access to Pro-Change programs will allow our members, with the support of a Member Navigator, the opportunity to optimize a health and wellness plan that matches their individual health and wellness goals,” said McDermott. Opportunities for expanding MyHealth at the YMCA to members of other branches will be considered upon completion of the pilot in December of 2010.
The pilot program of MyHealth at the YMCA coincides with a multi-million dollar expansion of the Kent County facility that includes reconstruction of the current location, increased space, and new and improved facilities and program offerings.
Partnerships with SmartCredit.com and DebtGoal Bring Powerful New Tools to Help Consumers Take Control of Their Credit and Pay Down DebtJuly 7th, 2010
The JeanChatzky Score Builder, an application developed exclusively with SmartCredit.com™ gives consumers a simple and secure way to understand their credit score and take action to improve that score in just 120 days.
The Pay It Down!™ application, powered by DebtGoal, is an extension of Chatzky’s The Debt Diet™ program. The app simplifies and automates the development and tracking of a customized debt repayment plan. The Debt Diet program, developed with Pro-Change Behavior Systems, Inc., blends behavioral science, online exercises and Jean Chatzky’s time-tested advice to help people make long-lasting, positive change and pay down debt.
Score Builder, along with The Debt Diet and its Pay It Down! app will help Americans overhaul their relationship with money, improve their credit scores and reduce debt. “As our nation continues to emerge from a powerful and damaging recession, millions are struggling with debt and its impact on their credit scores,” said Chatzky. “We know that people are happier and less stressed when they have control of their finances. I’m pleased to offer these innovative, online solutions to help people regain that control by giving them a clearer look at their credit and debt issues, then helping them work logically toward improved credit scores and a life free of needless debt.”
Taking control of credit scores
In recent years, Americans have become increasingly aware of their credit scores and the important role these seemingly esoteric numbers play in their lives. Chatzky wants consumers to take responsibility for controlling and improving their credit scores and has introduced the JeanChatzky Score Builder app, developed exclusively with SmartCredit.com, to help them on this quest. Said Chatzky, “Consumers understand that their credit scores matter whether they’re applying for a mortgage, renting an apartment, buying auto insurance or looking for a job. Yet, they’re not sure how to improve them – and dealing directly with their creditors is often very difficult.”
Score Builder starts by helping consumers make sense of credit scores. With Jean as the ever-present guide, users are given an explanation of the positives and negatives driving their individual scores, and advice on how to improve the negative items one-by-one. Score Builder then facilitates Smart Actions™-explicit steps users can take to remove or counteract the negatives-and tracks the status of these actions by interfacing directly with creditors. This direct contact with creditors makes Score Builder particularly effective in updating incorrect consumer information, since creditors typically quickly inform the credit bureaus of changes they make to consumers’ records. By following the action steps Score Builder provides, the average user will see his credit score improve in just 120 days.
The JeanChatzky Score Builder app is now available to all SmartCredit.com members for no additional fee; non-members may initiate a 5-day free trial of SmartCredit.com, which includes Score Builder, before committing to membership. Score Builder will soon be available as a stand-alone program that gives purchasers full access to the SmartCredit.com capabilities for a fixed 120 day membership.
Bridging the gap between advice and tools
Based on the tenets in her best-selling book, Pay it Down!: Debt Free on $10 a Day, The Debt Diet incorporates behavioral science techniques developed by Pro-Change to help people deal with the core of their debt and spending issues. Chatzky appears in online videos as a helpful co-pilot and mentor, inspiring and encouraging users as they make their way through the program’s easy-to-use, interactive activities.
“With The Debt Diet, I’m helping people make systemic changes in their behavior around money, to deal with debt at its roots,” said Chatzky. “It’s really different because it identifies the individual’s readiness for change and then provides customized tools and exercises. Some people need to learn how to pay down debt, while others may have little debt, but need to learn how to build an emergency fund and save for tomorrow.”
A new enhancement to The Debt Diet is the Pay It Down! app, powered by DebtGoal. This app looks at the debt each user is carrying and then creates a customized repayment plan that shows users the fastest way to get out of debt while paying the least amount of interest. The plan is based on DebtGoal’s proprietary algorithm and removes an enormous paperwork burden from users. It can also save users thousands of dollars in interest and shave years off of their debt.
The basic version of the Pay It Down! app is available at no additional fee to Debt Diet members. The standard version, which automatically updates the user’s repayment plan when interest rates and balances change, is available for an additional fee.
Says Chatzky, “Through my partnerships with Pro-Change Behavior Systems, SmartCredit.com, and DebtGoal, I’m making it easier for people to overhaul their relationship with debt and improve their credit scores, starting at the core of the problem and progressing toward long-lasting, positive change.”
After an intensive evaluation and an onsite visit, Pro-Change Behavior Systems, Inc. is pleased to announce it was officially granted a Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE) Certification by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC). The WBE is a nationally-accepted certification recognized by numerous private sector companies and governmental agencies.
WBE Membership criteria demand that members provide documented evidence that at least 51% or more of a company is owned, managed, and controlled by women. Membership facilitates beneficial procurement opportunities for WBEs and corporations on a local and national level. By including women-owned businesses among their partners, corporations and government agencies demonstrate their commitment to fostering diversity and the continued development of their supplier diversity programs.
“We are pleased to be able to offer this Certification to our partners and customers to help them in their efforts to receive contracts and grants,” stated Pro-Change’s President & CEO, Dr. Janice M. Prochaska.
About Women’s Business Enterprise National Council
The Center for Women & Enterprise is the New England certifying organization for the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC).
WBENC is the nation’s largest third-party certifier of businesses owned and operated by women in the United States. WBENC is a resource for the more than 700 U.S. companies and government agencies that rely on WBENC’s certification as an integral part of their supplier diversity programs. For more information about The Center for Women & Enterprise or Women’s Business Enterprise National Council, please visit www.cweonline.org or www.wbenc.org.
On Thursday, June 3rd, 2010 the Nossmo Health Care Association (site in Japanese) will provide a kick-off seminar to introduce Pro-Change’s Smoking Cessation program in Japan. Speakers at the event will include Dr. Shaw Watanabe, President of Nossmo Health Care Association; Dr. Mori from the Japanese Health and Welfare Ministry, and Dr. Miyazaki from the Japanese Non-Smoking Organization.
Nossmo Health Care Association will provide onsite smoking cessation groups for employees throughout Tokyo. Pro-Change’s stage-matched smoking cessation print manuals will be the core curriculum provided. Dr. Watanabe and his staff visited Pro-Change in December 2009 to plan out strategies for licensing and using the smoking cessation program.
Eri Kubota, of the Nossmo Health Care Association, stated “that the companies in their membership association will now have the Pro-Change program available for the 30-40% of employees who are smokers. Healthcare professionals will be onsite once a month to lead the groups.”
Dr. Johnson Presents Multiple Behavior Change Research at the Society for Behavioral Medicine ConferenceMay 19th, 2010
Sara Johnson, Senior Vice President of Research and Product Development at Pro-Change Behavior Systems, Inc. recently presented important findings regarding multiple behavior change at the 31st annual meeting of the Society of Behavioral Medicine (SBM) meeting in Seattle, Washington.
As part of a symposium on multiple behavior change interventions, Dr. Johnson shared results of three NIH-funded Small Business Innovative Research grants that suggest that behavior change co-varies. In other words, changing one behavior increases the likelihood of changing another behavior.
In the effectiveness trial of a Transtheoretical Model (TTM)-based computer-tailored intervention for medication adherence (n=404), participants in the treatment group were significantly more likely to exercise regularly and change dietary fat intake 12 months post treatment.
In a randomized trial of a TTM-based multiple behavior weight management intervention, participants were up to five times as likely to change a second behavior if they had changed one behavior. This finding was not true for the comparison condition, suggesting that the co-variation of behavior change was due in part to having received tailored interventions for the behaviors.
Finally, a randomized trial of a multiple behavior change program for obesity prevention in eight high schools revealed that students assigned to the treatment group who took action on one behavior, such as regular exercise, were more likely to take action on another behavior (e.g., fruit and vegetable intake). The same was not true for those randomized to the comparison condition.
Pro-Change is currently examining the effectiveness of novel approaches to maximizing the impact of tailored multiple behavior change interventions to leverage this co-variation effect.
Dr. Johnson stated, “Leveraging the co-variation of behavior change will allow us to enhance the effectiveness of multiple behavior change interventions while minimizing response burden and the disseminability of tailored interventions.”
The citation and abstract of this presentation appears below.
Co-Variation: A Promising Approach to Multiple Behavior Change Interventions
Authors: Sara Johnson, PhD, James Prochaska, PhD, Karen Sherman, MA Pro-Change Behavior Systems, Inc.
Transtheoretical Model (TTM)-based computer-tailored interventions for multiple behavior change (MBC) are effective. However, fully tailored interventions (FTI) for multiple behaviors increase response burden and delivery costs, limiting feasibility and dissemination potential. Leveraging co-variation of behavior change (i.e., when taking action on one treated behavior increases the odds of taking action on a second) represents an innovative approach to MBC interventions. Data from three randomized trials will be presented to demonstrate the potential of interventions utilizing co-variation. Among 404 adults (50.4% male; 83% White) in a medication adherence study, random effects modeling indicated that those receiving a FTI for adherence and minimal messaging for related behaviors were significantly more likely to reach Action (A) or Maintenance (M) for exercise (43.5% vs. 24.7%, Odds ratio (OR)=2.39, z=2.37, p<.05) and dietary fat reduction ((24.7% vs.12.5%; OR=1.57, z=2.06, p<.05). Logistic regression performed on data from 1206 adults (50.8% male; 78% White) in a weight management intervention indicated that on each pair of the three treated behaviors (exercise, healthy diet, and emotional eating), the ORs for taking action on one behavior if a participant took action on another ranged from 2.52 to 5.18 in the treatment group vs. 1.24 to 2.63 in control. Among 1800 high school students (mean age=15.97, 49.2% male; 71.5% White) who received FTIs for exercise paired with stage-matched interventions for fruit and vegetable and reducing TV time, logistic regression indicates that the OR for likelihood of reaching A/M for a behavior if A was reached on another behavior ranged from 1.99-2.36 among the treatment group at the end of treatment (6 months) as compared to 0.5-1.0 in the control group. Across all studies, progress on one behavior led to progress on another among treatment but not control participants. Suggestions for a planned co-variation approach that has the potential to produce the greatest impact with the least demands on participants will be presented.
Since September 2008 over 300 Maine State employees have lost 6100 pounds through a comprehensive multi-disciplinary team approach.
In researching programs, the Workers Compensation Division of the State of Maine discovered the Transtheoretical Model of Behavior Change. The Model resonated with what they knew−all individuals would not be ready to make the changes necessary to lead healthier lives and that those individuals would need time to make change possible. “The Transtheoretical Model became the philosophy that our ‘ME First’ obesity program was built around”, stated Rachel Maier, Program Manager of the Eastside Wellness Center in Augusta, Maine. ME First stands for Maine fighting increase risk starting today. Pro-Change’s Weight Management stage-based manuals are given to each participant and are the focus of the monthly facilitation groups held throughout the State. Pro-Change’s Weight Management manual titled “Roadways to Healthy Living” takes participants through the stages of change for healthy eating, exercising regularly, and managing emotional eating. The manual was first used in 2002 in an effective randomized clinical trial as part of a National Institutes of Health’s Small Business Research Innovation grant. Wellness coaches trained in the Transtheoretical Model and Weight Watchers’ memberships are also part of the services offered.
In 2009 another 440 employees joined the ME First program. The total for all groups to date is nearing a loss of 14,000 pounds. As a result of this program, the State of Maine has seen a reduction in medication use and now is researching decreases in worker compensation costs.
Pro-Change now offers individual access to our evidence-based, award winning behavior change programs within our adult LifeStyle Management Suite. The program, called MyHealth, is available from any Internet-enabled computer and includes programs for smoking, stress management, depression prevention, weight management, exercising regularly, and adherence to prescribed antihypertensive and/or cholesterol lowering medication.
Users first take the Health Risk Intervention (HRI) which starts the change process by pinpointing the user’s stage of change for health risks and by giving targeted guidance on the most important steps that can be taken to progress to the next stage of change. The HRI is then followed by full tailored LifeStyle Management programs for the user’s risk behaviors−e.g, smoking, sedentary behavior, depression, nonadherence to medication, obesity, and unhealthy stress management.
These LifeStyle Management programs won the 2009 URAC Gold Award in Health Management at the Best Practices in Health Care Consumer Empowerment and Protection Conference. Each time a user returns to the program (no more than once a month) they receive tailored feedback on how they are doing, what change strategies they are using well, which they may be under utilizing, and what steps they can take to continue progressing.
Each LifeStyle program is complemented by engaging interactive e-Workbooks filled with exercises that promote the use of the recommended strategies. Easily accessed from the user’s homepage, these e-Workbooks also provide links to a variety of external resources that can help the user move through the stages of change. The e-Workbooks can be accessed as often as the user wants.
A one-year, renewable license for our Health Risk Intervention and the full suite of behaviors costs $35 (US dollars). This new offering permits individuals to access Pro-Change’s high impact, award winning programs that previously were only available to larger populations. To learn more and to sign up, go to www.prochange.com/myhealth.
“Maximize Your Benefits: Maximize Your Health” is the theme of Pro-Change Behavior System, Inc.’s innovative Proactive Health Consumer (PHC) Program, which is uniquely positioned to address the needs of uninsured or underinsured Americans (who may soon have additional health coverage). The PHC program is designed to help all individuals—ready or not—to make informed decisions about health and health care, share in decision making with their health care providers, use health services wisely, avoid unnecessary and potentially costly care, and engage in ongoing health and wellness. Given the complexity of people’s interactions with the health care system, the PHC program addresses each user’s role as purchaser, provider, and patient.
The stakeholders in recent health care reform (e.g., AMA, AHA, Pharma, Health Plans, Employers, and Government) agreed on one thing: If the U.S. is to afford health care for all Americans, then prevention will need to be the foundation for health care. The ongoing health and wellness component of the PHC program is comprised of seven behavior change modules that won the 2009 Gold Award from URAC for Best Practices for Health Management. These evidence-based, high impact interventions treat the behaviors that have the highest disease burden, the highest health care cost burden, and the highest lost productivity burden—including smoking, obesity, nonadherence, stress, and depression. These behavior change programs will also be crucial for the newly insured who have already developed chronic conditions. The combination of these behavior change programs for multiple behaviors with the program components designed to enhance personal responsibility for health offers a truly comprehensive solution.
Central to the success of the PHC program is its ability to tailor the user’s feedback to responses provided to evidence-based assessments of up to 14 of the most important behavior change variables, beginning with readiness to change. Using proprietary technology and statistical decision-making rules, the program generates feedback customized to each user’s answers. Each time the user returns to the program, the features available are updated based on past interactions and the progress made since the last visit. Sophisticated back-end tracking supports organization specific and aggregate reporting capabilities.
To ensure access to the timely and accurate health information, the PHC program incorporates the award-winning Healthwise® Knowledgebase. Dr. Janice Prochaska, President and CEO of Pro-Change, said, “We believe strongly that offering the PHC program to the newly insured has the potential to have dramatic impacts on their health and health care. It is time for comprehensive, evidence-based solutions of this kind to facilitate true changes in how health care is delivered in the U.S.”
The journal Preventive Medicine recently announced that the paper describing the effectiveness of Pro-Change Behavior System, Inc.’s multiple behavior LifeStyle Management Program for weight management ranked third on the list of top ten most frequently downloaded articles in 2009. The article entitled, “Transtheoretical Model-Based Multiple Behavior Intervention for Weight Management: Effectiveness on a Population Basis” was written by Sara Johnson, Andrea Paiva, Carol Cummins, and other colleagues at Pro-Change and originally appeared in the March 2008 issue of the journal. The paper summarizes how individualized, Transtheoretical Model-based interventions significantly impacted healthy eating, exercise, managing emotional distress, and weight at one year post-intervention and enhanced co-variation of behavior change in over 1200 overweight and obese participants. This weight management program is part of the LifeStyle Program Suite that received the Gold Award for Best Practices in Health Management from URAC in 2009.
Dr. Sara Johnson, Senior Vice President of Research and Product Development at Pro-Change, and the lead developer of the weight management program stated that, “Given the current epidemic of overweight and obesity, we’re pleased that the article is informing the field. Our goal is to widely disseminate evidence-based programs that can address the behaviors that can lead to effective weight management.”
Zeon Chemicals—a small business headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky—is the first to take advantage of Pro-Change’s new small business option for access to its LifeStyle Management Programs. Zeon has purchased a small number of individual slots for its employees to use the Pro-Change Smoking program. Employees will have access to the program from any Internet-enabled computer for up to a year.
Zeon announced to their employees that they were going to be a tobacco-free worksite starting Sunday, July 4, 2010. Zeon stated that “we see eliminating the high-risk behavior of tobacco use at work as preventative and necessary to maintain the health of our employees and our health care benefits.”
Pro-Change’s program was especially appealing to Zeon since it met their employees wherever they are at in their readiness to quit smoking—not ready, getting ready, or ready. Small companies or groups can now take advantage of evidence based behavior change programs by licensing small numbers of slots for employees/members for any one program or the entire LifeStyle Management Suite of programs that includes the Health Risk Intervention along with the Smoking, Stress Management, Weight Management, Exercise, Depression Prevention, and Medication Adherence programs. Depending on the number of participants, aggregate reporting features may be available to track usage and progress through the behavior change process. This new option allows the LifeStyle programs to reach employees of small businesses, which make up the majority of our workforce, at an affordable price.
Karen Hicks, Human Resource Manager at Zeon stated, “I appreciate this opportunity to offer my employees a URAC Gold Award Program at a low cost.”
Small businesses interested in similar access for their employees should contact email@example.com.
URAC, the nation’s leading health care accreditation and education organization, has launched the latest podcast in its “Highlights in Health” series. This episode looks at Pro-Change Behavior Systems, Inc. and their LifeStyle Management Program which is helping people make positive, often lifesaving changes in the way they live.
The “Highlights in Health” podcast series recognizes innovative programs that health care organizations have developed to protect and empower consumers. Pro-Change Behavior Systems’ leadership in this area was recognized in 2009 when the company received a Gold Award at URAC’s “Best Practices in Health Care Consumer Empowerment and Protection Awards” ceremony. The podcast tells more about how this cutting-edge approach works.
“Most people know which of their behaviors are not healthy, or know they need to care for a chronic condition. However, being able to truly change a lifestyle is difficult,” said URAC President and CEO Alan P. Spielman. “There is a clear need for programs that offer guidance and counsel to those who are trying to adopt healthier behaviors. The programs that have been developed by Pro-Change fill that need.”
Chronic health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and obesity are the leading causes of death and disability in the United States. To manage, or sometimes even prevent, those conditions, consumers often need to make major changes in their behavior and lifestyles. The Pro-Change LifeStyle Management Program offers a suite of health behavior change programs in seven areas: smoking, weight management, stress management, depression prevention, managing cholesterol, managing high blood pressure, and exercising regularly. All of these programs are available to participants in print, on the web, and through coaches.
These comprehensive, multistage programs are based on the Transtheoretical Model of Behavior Change (TTM), which was developed more than 30 years ago by Dr. James O. Prochaska, Ph.D., a professor and director for the Cancer Prevention Research Center at the University of Rhode Island and the founder of Pro-Change Behavior Systems, Inc.
“The Transtheoretical Model allows us to help people no matter where they are in their path to change,” said Dr. Janice Prochaska, President and CEO of Pro-Change. “It’s very important for us to be able to reach out to those who are demoralized, who are not ready, or who have a lot of doubt about whether it all is worth it. Participants have told us that ‘this program really respects where I’m at. It gives me feedback that helps me understand what I need to do next.’”
The podcast also features commentary from both Dr. Janice Prochaska and Dr. Kerry Evers, Ph.D., Senior Vice President of Research and Product Development with Pro-Change Behavior Systems.
Dr. Evers describes the Model’s five stages, which are used to determine where people are in their readiness to change. “These five stages help us determine where the person’s mindset is, and what type of information will be most helpful to move them forward. We really tailor the tools to help participants be the most successful they can be.”
The majority of the LifeStyle Management Programs have been built and evaluated through rigorous research programs and clinical trials funded through the National Institutes of Health, and all of the programs have shown significant positive outcomes. For example, the Pro-Change Smoking program has shown success rates of 22 and 26 percent for people quitting smoking long-term. With the Stress Management program Pro-Change found, of those enrolled, approximately 60 to 70 percent start managing their stress effectively within six months, and continue effective management 18 months into the program and even beyond.
To learn more about Pro-Change’s programs and to listen to the podcast, visit www.urac.org/podcast/ and listen to the 12/21/09 episode. The podcast is also available via iTunes under “Highlights in Healthcare” (iTunes link).
The National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP), a service of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) recently identified Pro-Change’s Transtheoretical Model (TTM) based Stress Management Program as one of the interventions in their database that has been evaluated in Comparative Effective Research (CER). By identifying interventions that have CER support, users of NREPP will be able to more easily find programs that meet their needs.
“Pro-Change is thrilled that NREPP is adding the CER search feature to their web site. It will allow researchers, clinicians, and other decision makers to identify interventions that have been evaluated and compared in real world settings,” said Dr. Kerry Evers, Senior Vice-President of Research and Product Development. Dr. Evers was the Principal Investigator and developer of Pro-Change’s Stress Management Program.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, CER is the conduct and synthesis of research comparing the benefits and harms of different interventions and strategies to prevent, diagnose, treat, and monitor health conditions in “real world” settings. The purpose of this research is to improve health outcomes by developing and disseminating evidence-based information to patients, clinicians, and other decision makers, responding to their expressed needs about which interventions are most effective for which patients under specific circumstances.
The goals of CER are to:
- Assess a comprehensive array of health-related outcomes for diverse patient populations and subgroups
- Include medications, procedures, medical and assistive devices and technologies, diagnostic testing, behavioral change, and delivery system strategies
- Use a variety of data sources and methods to assess comparative effectiveness and actively disseminate the results.
NREPP rates the quality of the research supporting intervention outcomes and the quality and availability of training and implementation materials on a scale of 0.0 – 4.0. Pro-Change’s Stress Management Program was added to the database in February 2008. The program received a 3.8 overall rating for readiness for dissemination.
Pro-Change Behavior Systems, Inc. is pleased to announce a contract with Arizona State University’s (ASU) Doctor of Behavioral Health Program to disseminate Pro-Change resources to students. As part of their course work, doctoral students will receive training in the Transtheoretical Model of Behavior Change (TTM) to provide them with the basic concepts and strategies needed to effectively use the TTM when working with patients.
Student practitioners will then utilize Pro-Change’s LifeStyle Management Program Suite with their patients. This suite includes a set of Pro-Changes’ LifeStyle Management Programs that won the 2009 URAC Gold Award for Best Practices in Health Management. The programs work with individuals to help them identify their readiness to change in relation to seven behaviors closely tied to preventing and managing chronic disease. The LifeStyle Management programs offer individuals access to a health risk intervention, computerized tailored interventions, and interactive stage-matched e-workbooks, all based on the TTM. Student practitioners will “prescribe” our suite of programs to their patients then use patients’ feedback reports to guide them through the stages of change.
ASU’s Doctor of Behavioral Health (DBH) program is the culmination of Dr. Nicholas Cummings’ vision of creating a doctoral training program tailored to the emerging need for innovative behavioral clinicians to practice in primary care and medical settings. The DBH curriculum and practicum are designed to offer a unique blend of evidence-based behavioral interventions, medical literacy, health systems, and entrepreneurship skills that will meet the needs of the health-care, reform-driven marketplace. The explicit goal of the DBH program is to graduate clinicians who can deliver and document interventions that produce clinical and functional improvement, patient and provider satisfaction, and cost savings by decreasing overuse of medical resources and the cost of lost productivity to employers. Dr. Ronald O’Donnell, Director, stated that he believes that “an upgrade to a doctorate for master’s-level clinicians based on this unique foundation of skills will result in graduates being highly valued in a marketplace that is searching for cost-effective care.”
The DBH program will be integrated with existing cutting-edge degree programs such as Nursing and Healthcare Innovation, the Medical School and the Doctorate in Physical Activity, Nutrition and Wellness. For more information about this unique program, please see www.dbh.asu.edu.
Pro-Change’s President and CEO, Janice Prochaska, stated that “Pro-Change is honored to be an integral part of this first program in the country for Doctoral of Behavioral Health training.”
Dr. Kerry Evers of Pro-Change Behavior Systems, Inc. is one of 20 experts who have been invited by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the Monitor Institute to the “Forum on the Future Impact of Neuroscience and Behavior Change” to take place on November 11-12 at RWJF’s Princeton headquarters. RWJF’s Pioneer Portfolio and the Monitor Institute are convening a small group of researchers, academics, physicians, and industry leaders in the fields of neurotechnology, neurodevelopment, and behavior change. The forum is designed to shine a light on key areas of innovation, to highlight new opportunities for key players, and to forge a greater sense of connectivity among leading thinkers in these three fields.
Over the course of two days, participants will engage in a series of highly iterative, forward-looking discussions on neurotechnology, neurodevelopment, and behavior change. This will culminate in a wrap-up session that will integrate the thinking across all three areas and highlight connections and implications for the future of health and health care. The meetings will help identify key areas of exploration and development, inspire a greater sense of connectivity, and potentially create a new way of engaging with key stakeholders to foster and leverage ideas and innovation.
“I am honored to be included in this distinguished group of individuals and organizations and excited to be involved in what is sure to be invigorating discussions,” stated Dr. Evers.
Financial expert and author, Jean Chatzky yesterday launched a new online tool – Debt Diet Online at www.JeanChatzky.com/debtdiet. The tool, developed in collaboration with Pro-Change, uses behavior change science to deliver guidance based on how ready an individual is to take on debt challenges. Debt Diet Online is a tailored program with strategies to help people get out of debt and start building wealth with just $10 per day.
“We’ve all seen the tremendous difficulties Americans are facing with debt and often it’s so overwhelming that you wonder how to get started,” says financial expert and author, Jean Chatzky. “Debt Diet Online provides the right information and the motivation to make the right choices every day and take back control of your finances.”
A culture of easy credit combined with the current recession and high unemployment has landed many Americans in a mountain of debt. The first step is often the hardest, which is why Chatzky collaborated with preeminent behavior change experts at Pro-Change to get users ready to implement Chatzky’s proven strategies and to ensure they do so successfully. Based on the user’s stage of readiness, the tool is customized with step-by-step coaching, driven by time-tested, effective behavior change principles. This is the first product of its kind that combines proven financial strategies with behavior change principles.
“We’ve spent over 30 years studying how people can make lasting change in their lives—from stopping smoking to losing weight to reducing stress,” says Founder James Prochaska, Ph.D. of Pro-Change. “Reducing debt is a major challenge for Americans today and Debt Diet Online is a great opportunity to apply our knowledge with Jean Chatzky’s insights to help people make real, positive change in their lives.”
Debt Diet Online uses an algorithm to determine which of six stages of readiness applies to the user:
- Not Yet Ready: Not intending to start eliminating debt
- Getting Ready: Looking to start paying down debt in the next six months
- Ready: Planning to start reducing debt in the coming month
- Taking Action: Already started to eliminate debt and looking to stay on track
- Staying with It: Well on track with reducing debt and want to know how to handle the unexpected
- You Have No Debt: Next Step is to Start Building Savings: Debt is gone and want to learn how to build savings
Debt Diet Online then delivers information based on the user’s stage of readiness. For $30, users can access the online tool where they are guided through—with the end goal of changing behavior, eliminating debt, and building sustainable wealth.
Pro-Change Announces Effectiveness of Health in Motion, A Multi-Media Obesity Prevention Program for AdolescentsSeptember 3rd, 2009
Pro-Change Behavior Systems, Inc. recently completed a five year program of research funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and led by Principal Investigator, Dr. Leanne Mauriello, to develop and test a multi-media obesity prevention program for adolescents. Health in Motion is a population-based program relevant for all teens that focuses on helping them adopt or maintain physical activity, fruit and vegetable consumption, and limiting television time according to national guidelines. Each of these behaviors is important for leading a healthy lifestyle and preventing overweight and obesity.
Health in Motion is a self-directed, computer-based program that can be easily delivered to adolescents across multiple settings. Once the teen logs on, the intervention administers on-screen assessments and offers immediate, tailored and stage-matched feedback based on the Transtheoretical Model of Behavior Change. Each intervention session is designed to be delivered within 30 minutes. A fully tailored intervention is offered for physical activity and optimally tailored sections are offered for fruit and vegetable consumption and TV viewing. Multimedia components, including audio, videos, animations, and interactive feedback screens, engage the users and help to relay important behavioral change strategies. A demonstration version of Health in Motion can be viewed at www.prochange.com/obesitydemo.
As part of a 14-month clinical effectiveness trial Health in Motion was delivered to 1800 students from 8 high schools across the country. The majority of students were White (71.5%), female (50.8%), of normal weight according to their body mass index (74.7%), and on average 16 years old. The treatment group received three intervention sessions and two follow-up assessments, while the control group received four assessment-only sessions. Results of the trial demonstrate the effectiveness of the program to initiate behavior change for all three behaviors and to treat multiple risks simultaneously.
At the end of the intervention, the treatment group increased their physical activity of at least 60 minutes by 1 additional day (while the control group increased that much activity by 1/3 of a day), increased their fruit and vegetable consumption by 1.5 servings per day (while the control group increased by ½ of a serving), and reduced their daily television viewing by 1 hour (while the control group reduced by ½ an hour). At the 12 month follow-up time point, the treatment group continued to outperform the control group on all three of these measures.
The intervention also was successful at moving treatment group participants from a pre-action stage (in which participants were not doing the target behavior) to the action or maintenance stages (in which participants had begun to do the target behavior), with 28.5% of the treatment group moving to action or maintenance for physical activity, 35.5% moving to action or maintenance for fruit and vegetable consumption, and 43% moving to action or maintenance for TV viewing. These effects were relatively stable for the treatment group out to the 12 month follow-up time point.
A noteworthy success of Health in Motion is its ability to treat multiple risks simultaneously. Among treatment group participants those students who progressed to action or maintenance for one behavior were 4.2 to 2.1 times more likely to make the same progress on another behavior. This finding was not found among control group participants. Findings also indicate the ability of the intervention to reduce the number of behavioral risks among treatment group participants. Among students with at least one behavioral risk at baseline, the treatment group reported fewer risks than the control group at the 2, 6, and 12 month time points. In addition, among those with zero behavioral risks at baseline, the control group reported significantly more risks at the 2, 6, and 12 month time points than the treatment group. These findings reflect the crux of treating multiple risks simultaneously. An intervention that can help students reduce multiple risks, help students adopt more than one healthy behavior, and prevent students from acquiring risks stretches the impact seen to date with single behavior interventions. Overall, these findings exemplify the ability of Health in Motion to promote the adoption of multiple health behaviors while also reducing relapse and risk acquisition.
The effectiveness of Health in Motion to help students who previously where not doing healthy lifestyle behaviors at recommended levels adopt the target behaviors to national guidelines, and help many of them continue doing the behaviors out to 12 months post intervention culminates this five year program of research and program development. Adoption and maintenance of these lifestyle behaviors particularly when promoted through a feasible and easily adoptable intervention strategy can lend greatly towards helping teens adopt healthy behaviors that may prevent the onset of adult obesity and the consequential health impacts that obesity bears to individuals, and society as a whole.
Over 10 presentations on this research have been made at several national conferences and three publications have resulted to date. Discussions with potential commercialization partners have ensued and elicited much enthusiasm for marketing Health in Motion to schools, youth organizations, health care providers, and to health promotion, disease management, and insurance benefit companies. Health in Motion is now available to license. Contact Janice M. Prochaska, President and CEO, at firstname.lastname@example.org, for more information.
The July/August issue of the American Journal of Health Promotion‘s section on the Art of Health Promotion highlights Pro-Change’s new Proactive Health Consumer (PHC) program. The article entitled “Proactive Health Consumerism: An Important New Tool for Worksite Health Promotion” focuses on the fundamentals of the PHC approach, applies lessons learned to develop effective PHC, suggests how PHC programs could be integrated with employers or health plan offerings, and gives strategies for assuring a successful PHC program.
The article can be found in the July/August 2009 issue, Volume 23, pages 1-8 and is authored by Sara S. Johnson, Carol O. Cummins, Kerry E. Evers, Janice M. Prochaska, and James O. Prochaska.
To see a demo of the PHC program, please visit www.prochange.com/phcdemo.
Dr. Kerry Evers, Senior Vice President of Research and Product Development at Pro-Change, was one of 130 civilian leaders in business, education, and government from across the country to receive a personal invitation from the Secretary of the Air Force to attend the 56th Annual National Security Forum (NSF) at the Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama earlier this year. The purpose of NSF is to expose influential citizens to senior U.S. and international officers and civilian equivalents in order to engage each other’s ideas and perspectives on Air Force, national, and international security issues.
This year’s forum included discussions of cybersecurity, the robotics revolution and conflict in the 21st century, diplomacy and security challenges in the broader Middle East, unwrapping the mysteries of Iran, and North Korea’s nuclear diplomacy. Speakers included Ambassador Ryan Crocker, the former U.S. Ambassador to Iraq; Dr. Peter Singer, Director, 21st Century Defense Initiative at the Brookings Institute; and The Honorable Michael B. Donley, Secretary of the Air Force.
Dr. Evers commented, “The week was a remarkable opportunity to engage with senior military leaders for in-depth discussions of current and future issues facing the Air Force and the other branches of the military. It was an incredible follow-up to my experience in the European Command last fall.” In 2008, Kerry was selected by the U.S. Office of the Secretary of Defense as one of 50 leaders from across the country to participate in the 76th Joint Civilian Orientation Conference (JCOC). This prestigious conference provided a forum of free exchange among influential citizens, Department of Defense officials, and military leadership while touring military installations throughout Europe.
Pro-Change Releases New Integrated Program to Help Employees Be More Proactive About Their Health and Health CareMay 27th, 2009
Pro-Change is pleased to announce our new Proactive Health Consumer Program: Making Health Happen (PHC). Rising costs are driving health plans and employers to look for ways to encourage members/employees to become proactive health consumers who take responsibility for their health, health care, and cost of care—for themselves and on behalf of their families.
The Transtheoretical Model (TTM) based PHC program is designed to guide those not ready, getting ready, and ready to take charge of their health and health care. A computerized-tailored intervention segues into a dynamic web portal containing interactive activities, health decision-making guidance, lifestyle behavior change interventions, and a health information database all designed to promote and reinforce skills and resources needed for health care consumerism.
The four main components of the program address:
- Sharing in decision making with health care providers;
- Making informed decisions regarding health insurance coverage, health care providers, tests, treatments, and end-of-life care;
- Using health services wisely and in a financially responsible way; and
- Engaging in ongoing health and wellness via award winning programs for healthy lifestyle management.
This innovative program will lead the field of behavior change into a new era. Originally, the field focused on disease management, then disease prevention. Over the years the focus evolved to health promotion and then wellness. Today, the focus is shifting to well-being. PHC is the first program that integrates health and financial well-being using the integrative construct of proactive health consumerism.
After viewing our program demo, one person remarked, “This is the first program I’ve seen that integrates health care and healthy lifestyles.” Another viewer said, “This is a truly holistic approach.” Now see it for yourself.
To view our demo, go to: www.prochange.com/phcdemo.
Three members of Pro-Change Behavior Systems, Inc. will present at two different Paper Sessions at the Society of Behavioral Medicine (SBM) Annual Conference in Montreal, Canada on April 22-25, 2009.
The three presentations are based on a recently completed five year program of research funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI). The research was led by Principal Investigator, Dr. Leanne Mauriello to develop and test a multi-media obesity prevention program for adolescents. Health in Motion is a population-based program relevant for all teens that focuses on helping them adopt or maintain physical activity, fruit and vegetable consumption, and limiting television time according to national guidelines. Each of these behaviors is important for leading a healthy lifestyle and preventing overweight and obesity.
At the “It’s All Fun and Games: Multimedia Approaches to LifeStyle Change” Paper Session, Dr. Mauriello will present the 12-month outcomes from the effectiveness trial of Health in Motion. Students (N=1800) from eight high schools participated in the 14- month trial. The program was effective at moving students in the treatment group to action or maintenance for all three behaviors. In addition, the treatment group reported exercising at least 60 minutes on more days and eating more fruits and vegetables at all time points then the control group. Significant group differences were not found for hours of TV per day.
At the “Prevention is Key: Weight Gain Prevention Research” Paper Session, Patricia Castle, M.A., will present on “Multiple Behavior Risk Reduction and Risk Acquisition Results from Adolescent Obesity Prevention Program.” At follow-up, those students in the treatment group reported significantly fewer health risks compared to the control group. Also, among those students with zero health risks at the start of the program, the treatment group reported less acquisition of risks compared to the control group at the end of treatment. These findings highlight the effectiveness and importance of treating multiple risks simultaneously. This paper won the Annual Award of the Multiple Health Behavior Change Special Interest Group of SBM.
Also at this Paper Session, Karen Sherman, B.A., will present on the “Co-variation of Multiple Behavior Change: Synergistic Effects of an Obesity Prevention Program.” Findings demonstrate that progress (movement to Action or Maintenance) on one behavior led to progress on another behavior among treatment but not control group participants. The treatment group exhibited significant co-variation among behaviors at each time point. These results indicate the synergistic effects possible when impacting multiple behaviors.
Janice M. Prochaska, President & CEO of Pro-Change Behavior Systems, Inc. stated, “We are pleased to have the opportunity to share the successful results of this effectiveness trial with members of SBM.”
For citations and abstracts of the papers, please see our Youth Obesity Prevention page.
The Center for Information Therapy (IxCenter) is featuring for the month of April, Pro-Change’s new Proactive Health Consumer Program: Making Health Happen (PHC) through its website’s Monthly Member Spotlight.
The PHC program also will be demonstrated as part of “The Opening Great Debate: Ix and Health 2.0 – Synergies or Tensions?” at the Health 2.0 Meets Ix Conference in Boston on April 22, 2009. It is fitting that the Center for Information Therapy, an early project collaborator, is the first to present the program to the public. The IxCenter’s President, Joshua Seidman, commented, “The PHC tool represents a great step forward in integrating the different types of information that consumers need to navigate an increasingly complex health care delivery system.”
The Proactive Health Consumer Program promotes active participation in managing health and health care costs for one’s self and family using validated assessments and empirically-based guidance. PHC is the first program that integrates health and financial well-being using the integrative construct of proactive health consumerism. The Transtheoretical Model (TTM) based PHC program is designed to guide those not ready, getting ready, and ready to take charge of their health and health care. An individualized, computerized-tailored intervention segues into a dynamic web portal containing interactive activities, health decision making guidance, lifestyle behavior change interventions, and the Healthwise® Knowledgebase, all designed to promote and reinforce skills and resources needed for health care consumerism.
The four main components of the program address:
- Sharing in decision making with health care providers;
- Making informed decisions regarding health plans, providers, tests, treatments, and end-of-life care;
- Using health services wisely and in a financially responsible way; and
- Engaging in ongoing health and wellness activities.
For more information about the Proactive Health Consumer program, see our PHC page.
Pro-Change Behavior Systems was presented the Gold Award for Health Management by leading health care accreditation organization, URAC. The honor was announced at the 2009 Best Practices in Health Care Consumer Empowerment and Protection Awards Gala on April 1-2 in Orlando, Florida. The awards are designed to recognize innovative leadership and successful programs in consumer-focused health care management.
Pro-Change was honored for its LifeStyle Management Program Suite, a set of programs that works with individuals to help them identify their readiness to change in relation to seven behaviors closely tied to preventing and managing chronic disease. The LifeStyle Management programs offer individuals access to a health risk intervention, a computerized tailored intervention, and an interactive stage-matched workbook, all based on the Transtheoretical Model.
Seventy submissions were evaluated by a 27-member panel of prestigious, independent judges including experts in program evaluation, care coordination, health information technology, employer and purchaser decision making and patient safety. Honors were awarded in six categories: Health Plans and Health Networks, Health Management, Health Information/Decision Support, Pharmacy Quality Management, Consumer Decision-Making, and Consumer Health Improvement.
“Our Best Practices awards program is a unique celebration of the best the health care industry has to offer. These companies have made a difference in the lives of consumers by implementing leading-edge programs with results that matter,” said Alan P. Spielman, president and CEO of URAC. “At a time when health care reform is in the spotlight, achievements from companies like Pro-Change are even more important.”
“We are honored to be recognized by URAC,” stated Janice M. Prochaska, President & CEO of Pro-Change. “We appreciate the importance of URAC’s goal to raise the quality and impact of the evidence needed to support health management programs.”
Pro-Change Behavior Systems, Inc. today announced they will work with Quintiles Medical Education, Consensus Medical Communications, and Medical Education Resources in 2009 to comprehensively measure outcomes for continuing medical education initiatives for the effective treatment of hepatitis C virus (HCV).
These initiatives will be delivered live, on-line, and via print. Consistent with the most recent Alliance for Continuing Medical Education competencies regarding partnering with external partners, Pro-Change will develop a common set of measures related to performance improvement in the treatment of HCV. These measures, based on the Transtheoretical Model (TTM) of Behavior Change, will be used for all of the educational activities developed by each partner in this unique collaboration.
The principles of the TTM will also be used to guide the inclusion of behavior change messaging within each CME activity.
The goal is to move CME to performance improvement, going beyond the traditional goal of improving knowledge. Including messages that match the readiness of the entire target audience is expected to increase effectiveness of CME activities for treatment of HCV. The overall educational initiatives are supported by an independent educational grant from Roche Pharmaceuticals.
David Schlumper of Quintiles stated that he “is confident that the collaboration with Pro-Change will bring about improvements in measuring and accomplishing performance improvements and will ultimately improve patient care.”
Becky Carney of Consensus Medical Communications stated that she “values the opportunity to partner with other CME stakeholders to take full advantage of the skills and resources of each group. This allows us to best support education that drives improvements in clinician behaviors which promote optimized patient outcomes.”
The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) has elected Janice M. Prochaska to the national association. The announcement was made during NRPA’s 43rd Annual Congress & Exposition in Baltimore, Maryland.
“Janice is an asset to NRPA,” said Lois G. Finkelman, NRPA Chair of the Board of Trustees. “She has supported the park and recreation movement and NRPA’s mission on many levels throughout her career. Her expertise and leadership skills will continue to help NRPA achieve its organizational goals and Strategic Plan. Janice has previously served on the Board of Trustees for four years where she has been a strong advocate to integrate health into the mission of NRPA.” NRPA will flourish under her leadership.
Dr. Prochaska is the President and CEO of Pro-Change Behavior Systems, Inc. She serves on the South Kingstown Parks and Recreation Commission, Star Island Corporation, and numerous other local organizations. In 2007 Dr. Prochaska accepted on behalf of Pro-Change the National Tibbetts Award for excellence in the Small Business Innovation Research Program.
The National Recreation and Park Association is a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to advancing park, recreation and conservation efforts that enhance quality of life for all people. Through its network of some 21,000 recreation and park professionals and citizens, NRPA encourages the promotion of healthy lifestyles, recreation initiatives, and conservation of natural and cultural resources.
Headquartered in Ashburn, Va., NRPA works closely with local, state, and national recreation and park agencies, citizen groups and corporations to carry out its objectives. Priorities include advocating favorable legislation and public policy; continuing education for park and recreation professionals and citizens; providing professional certification, university accreditation, research and technical assistance; and increasing public awareness of the importance of parks and recreation. For more information, visit www.nrpa.org.
Personal Finance Employee Education Foundation Recognizes Transtheoretical Model As Gold Standard for Financial Program ProvidersDecember 2nd, 2008
In a special publication of the Personal Finance Employee Education Foundation (PFEEF), the article “Strategies for Motivating Employees to Develop Positive Financial Behaviors: An application of the Transtheoretical Model of Behavior Change” (Xiao, J.J., Prawitz, A.D., Prochaska, J.M., O’Neill, B., Kim, J., & Garman, T., 2008; pages 1-8) was published. In the article, the PFEEF recognizes the Transtheoretical Model of Behavior Change as the gold standard for financial program providers to utilize in their communications.
“There are numerous people in the personal financial management field who already utilize the Transtheoretical Model of Change” stated Dr. Tom Garman, President of the Personal Finance Employee Education Foundation. “If employers are serious about helping employees change their personal financial behaviors for the better—such as contributing the maximum to their 401(k) retirement plan—now is the time to use Transtheoretical Model principles to help.”
Pro-Change Behavior Systems Inc. has worked with the lead author of the PFEEF article, Dr. Jing Xiao of the University of Rhode Island, for over five years on several of his projects. Dr. Janice Prochaska, PhD, president and CEO of Pro-Change Behavior Systems Inc., is one of the key coauthors of the article, which is available (pdf) on the PFEEF web site.
URAC, a leading independent accrediting organization, has announced that a distinguished panel of judges selected Pro-Change Behavior Systems Inc. as one of 23 finalists in its Best Practices in Health Care Consumer Empowerment and Protection Awards competition. The competition drew entries from across the nation. The finalists will be honored during the 2009 Best Practices Conference & Exhibit, April 1-2, 2009 in Orlando, Fla.
Finalists are invited to present their winning programs at the Best Practices Conference & Exhibit and URAC educational events throughout the year. Presentations will showcase best practices in two categories: consumer decision-making and consumer health improvement.
Pro-Change Behavior Systems Inc. submitted the LifeStyle Management Program Suite to URAC for consideration of Best Practices in consumer health improvement. The LifeStyle Management Suite, based on the Transtheoretical Model, include a Health Risk Intervention as well as seven computerized tailored interventions for changing health risk behaviors stage by stage. The seven behaviors in the LifeStyle Management Program are: Stress Management, Smoking Cessation, Physical Activity, Weight Management, Managing your Cholesterol, Managing your High Blood Pressure and Depression Prevention. The computerized tailored interventions that make up the LifeStyle Management Program help participants use principles and processes of change that move them to the next stage of change in the adoption of effective prevention behaviors. The interventions work directly with participants to prevent adverse health outcomes that can result from chronic disease or result in chronic disease. For more information, see our products page.
“The Best Practices Awards and Conference provide a unique opportunity for leaders in health care management to learn what premier companies are doing to advance consumer protection and empowerment,” said Alan Spielman, URAC’s president and CEO. “It is a one-of-a kind conference, designed to inspire the industry as a whole to rapidly adopt proven practices that advance patient safety and empower consumers with improved decision-making tools.”
Entries were judged by a distinguished panel of judges, chaired by epidemiologist Thomas W. Wilson, Ph.D, DrPH, Trajectory HealthCare, LLC. The 30-member panel included the best and most widely recognized experts in program evaluation, care coordination, health information technology, employer and purchaser decision making and patient safety. Entries were reviewed and scored by the judges based on objective criteria.
“We are very honored to be one of the 23 finalists recognized for their work in developing evidence based health behavior change programs” stated Janice Prochaska, PhD, President and CEO of Pro-Change Behavior Systems Inc.
All finalists are invited to attend a black tie dinner event during the conference, when they will discover how they will be distinguished as award winners. Gold, Silver, Bronze and Honorable Mention Award winners in each of the four organization categories will be announced at the dinner. Platinum Award winners will also be announced, in the two topic categories.
For a complete list of judges, go to www.urac.org/bestpractices/websitejudges.asp.
Pro-Change Behavior Systems, Inc. today announced that the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has included a profile of Pro-Change’s Stress Management Program as part of their Health Care Innovations Exchange.
The Stress Management Program is currently being utilized by HealthString LLC, Quality Health Solutions, Healthways, and Medifit. HealthString’s use of the program is highlighted in the Innovations Exchange profile.
Supported by a grant from the National Cancer Institute, the Stress Management Program assists individuals in managing their stress more effectively using practices such as relaxation, exercise, meditation, and social support.
Dr. Kerry Evers of Pro-Change designed the Stress Management Program based on the Transtheoretical Model and studied its effectiveness in a randomized controlled trial with adults from across the United States. At the 18-month follow-up, a significantly larger proportion of the treatment group (62%) was effectively managing their stress when compared to the control group. The intervention also produced significant reductions in stress and depression, and an increase in the use of stress management techniques when compared to the control group.
AHRQ’s Health Care Innovations Exchange is a Web-based resource designed to support health care professionals in sharing and adopting innovations that improve health care quality. The Innovations Exchange allows a variety of health practitioners to explore innovative strategies and quality-related tools, learn how to improve their organization’s ability to innovate and adopt new ideas, and interact with innovators and adopters.
The Stress Management Program’s profile is titled ‘Individualized Stress Management Program Encourages Healthy Behaviors and Coping Techniques’. The profile describes in detail how HealthString, LLC uses the Stress Management Program, part of Pro-Change’s LifeStyle Management Programs. HealthString is a personal health network which works to empower individuals to proactively manage their health by enabling behavior changes that lead to a healthier lifestyle. Use of the Stress Management Program allows HealthString clients to work towards that goal.
In response to receiving the AHRQ recognition, Liz Pampel Willock, President, Chief Compliance & Privacy Officer of HealthString stated, “Pro-Change Behavior Systems understands how people make effective and lasting change to improve their health, and HealthString uses several of Pro-Change’s Lifestyle Management Programs with success for our members. The Stress Management Program is a perfect fit for HealthString’s consumer-centered approach: strategic behavior change support and coaching that is dynamically tailored to an individual’s needs.”
To view a demo of the stress management program go to: www.prochange.com/stressdemo.
To read the full outcome articles see:
Evers, K.E., Prochaska, J.O., Mauriello, L.M., Padula, J.A. and Prochaska, J.M. (2006). A randomized clinical trial of a population and transtheoretical-based stress management intervention. Health Psychology 25 (4), 521-529. abstract
Prochaska, J. O., Butterworth, S., Redding, C. A., Burden, V., Perrin, N., Leo, M. et al. (2008). Initial efficacy of MI, TTM tailoring and HRI’s with multiple behaviors for employee health promotion. Preventive Medicine, 46, 226-231. abstract
Objective: This study was designed to compare the initial efficacy of Motivational Interviewing (MI), Online Transtheoretical Model (TTM)-tailored communications and a brief Health Risk Intervention (HRI) on four health risk factors (inactivity, BMI, stress and smoking) in a worksite sample.
Method: A randomized clinical trial assigned employees to one of three recruitment strategies and one of the three treatments. The treatment protocol included an HRI session for everyone and in addition either a recommended three TTM online sessions or three MI in person or telephone sessions over 6 months. At the initial post-treatment assessment at 6 months, groups were compared on the percentage who had progressed from at risk to taking effective action on each of the four risks.
Results: Compared to the HRI only group, the MI and TTM groups had significantly more participants in the Action stage for exercise and effective stress management and significantly fewer risk behaviors at 6 months. MI and TTM group outcomes were not different.
Conclusion: This was the first study to demonstrate that MI and online TTM could produce significant multiple behavior changes. Future research will examine the long-term impacts of each treatment, their cost effectiveness, effects on productivity and quality of life and process variables mediating outcomes.
Pro-Change Behavior Systems, Inc. has developed a prototype version of a computer-tailored multiple behavior intervention to promote health during pregnancy. Healthy Pregnancy: Step by Step is an interactive program that addresses smoking cessation and maintenance, stress management, and healthy eating, all three of which are critical health behaviors for a healthy pregnancy and positive birth outcomes. A pilot test was conducted during the summer of 2008 with 87 women at three locations of the Community Health Center, Inc. of Connecticut. The overwhelming majority of women (90%) rated the program exceptionally high on all fourteen evaluation items including that the program could help them be healthier, that they learned new information about having a healthy pregnancy, and that they would recommend the program to a friend. In addition, after the one session pilot program women reported recognizing increased benefits to changing their health behaviors and intention to make behavioral changes. Participants reported planning to smoke fewer cigarettes, to increase effective stress management, and to eat more servings of fruits and vegetables each day.
The ease by which the Community Health Center was able to recruit participants, the ability for the program to be incorporated easily into prenatal care, the comfortableness of participants with using the computer program, and enthusiasm expressed during key informant interviews all lend to the feasibility of dissemination this program. The positive acceptability and feasibility results of the pilot test build confidence both that the program can be effective at impacting the health behaviors of women at a critical time and that it can be disseminated easily on a population-basis through several distribution channels. Dr. Daren Anderson, M.D., served as an advisory council member, and identified the program as, “a brilliant, scalable, and operational program.”
This research was funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Pro-Change is preparing a grant proposal to apply for Phase II funding to complete and enhance the development of the intervention and to test it in a clinical effectiveness trial. The Phase II product will include multiple time points and a Spanish module for the computer-based program, in addition to print-based individualized reports and a stage-based behavior change manual. Once proven effective, this program can be disseminated for use in health clinics and provider offices throughout the country, as well as through health promotion and wellness organizations. Stage-based manuals for smoking cessation, healthy eating, stress management, and depression prevention designed specifically for pregnant and postpartum women will be available for purchase in December. For more information, or for a demonstration of this program, please contact Janice M. Prochaska, President and CEO at email@example.com.
UPDATE: A guided demonstration of the healthy pregnancy pilot program is now available.
Pro-Change is assisting Vital Decisions in its mission to help empower seriously ill patients and their families to exert control in the decisions associated with their care at the end of life and to align these care decisions with their personal preferences and values.
Pro-Change will design Transtheoretical Model of Behavior Change assessments for identifying a patient’s stage of readiness to actively participate in the planning of their care. Interventions and goals will be developed for those not yet ready, those getting ready and those ready to make a plan.
Vital Decisions will use the assessments, interventions, and goals to facilitate their care planning program, “The Living Well Program”. This program, consisting of a series of telephone based counseling sessions, is guided by the patients’ personal preferences and priorities in the areas of independence, interactivity and comfort, and the actions that are required to be taken by the patient to realize their preferences.
The goal of this collaborative effort is to help seriously ill patients take control by articulating their preferences and choices, and to assist them in documenting and communicating those choices to loved ones and medical care providers. “Using the Transtheoretical Model will help us to improve the quality of our service and the value that we are able to provide to patients,” stated Mitchell Daitz, President of Vital Decisions.
The U.S. Office of the Secretary of Defense has selected Kerry E. Evers, Ph.D., Director at Pro-Change Behavior Systems, Inc. as one of 50 leaders from across the country to participate in the 76th Joint Civilian Orientation Conference (JCOC) September 19 to 26th. The oldest existing Pentagon outreach program, JCOC has been held 75 times since its inception in 1948. This prestigious conference seeks to increase public understanding of national defense through a forum of free exchange among influential citizens, Department of Defense officials, and military leadership.
The program immerses civilian leaders in military activity for seven days and allows them to observe and participate in U.S. military life around the globe to better understand the full-scope of U.S. military efforts.
JCOC 76 will showcase the United States European Command (EUCOM), which maintains responsibility for all of Europe, most of Africa, and parts of the Middle East. Dr. Evers will visit at least five countries over the 7-day period; exact locations of this year’s conference are not known until participants are briefed in Washington, DC. on September 19th.
Selection for JCOC is competitive as over 400 names are typically submitted each year. Each conference looks for a geographical, occupational, and cultural cross-section of influential Americans who are leaders in their fields. Dr. Evers was nominated by the Department of the Navy on behalf of the Navy Warfare Development Command (NWDC), currently located at Navy Station Newport, RI.
At Pro-Change, Dr. Evers develops and disseminates health behavior change programs with areas of interest including health promotion, international health, and the use of technology in healthcare. She hopes to relate her expertise in health care to improving the lives of U.S. troops.
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime trip that will give me a unique perspective on the troops and their health-related issues. I’m excited for the opportunity and I look forward to returning and sharing the amazing experience that I know I’ll have,” says Dr. Evers.
Recently eight major articles were published in peer reviewed journals that tested and supported fundamental theoretical, empirical, and practical applications of the Transtheoretical Model of Behavior Change (TTM). Using cutting edge methodologies these studies demonstrate how TTM is continuing to advance the field’s ability to understand, predict, and change risk behaviors critical to the prevention and management of chronic diseases. “These advances help drive Pro-Change’s research and development of new TTM programs,” stated Janice M. Prochaska, President & CEO of Pro-Change Behavior Systems, Inc.
Evaluating theories of behavior change: A Hierarchy of criteria applied to the Transtheoretical model
- Organizes different criteria suggested by different scientific theorists
The most common criteria recommended by philosophers of science for evaluating theories were organized within a hierarchy ranging from the least to the most risky tests for theories of health behavior change. The hierarchy progressed across: (1) Clarity; (2) Consistency; (3) Parsimony; (4) Testable; (5) Predictive Power; (6) Explanatory Power; (7) Productivity; (8) Generalisable; (9) Integration; (10) Utility; (11) Efficacy; and (12) Impact. The hierarchy was applied to the Transtheoretical Model (TTM) as an example of a health behavior change theory. The application was from the perspective of critics and advocates of TTM. Examples of basic and applied research challenging and supporting TTM across the hierarchy of criteria are presented. The goal is to provide a model for comparing alternative theories and to evaluate progress across the hierarchy within a particular theory. As theories meet criteria at each step in the hierarchy, the research and applications they generate can have increasing impacts on the science and practice of health behavior change.
Prochaska, J. O., Wright, J. A., & Velicer, W. F. (in press). Evaluating theories of behavior change: A Hierarchy of criteria applied to the Transtheoretical model. Applied Psychology: An International Review, 00, 00-00.
Testing Theory-Using Quantitative Predictions of Effect Size
- Generates quantitative theoretical statements
- Provides means of testing specificity of a theory
Traditional Null Hypothesis Testing procedures are poorly adapted to theory testing. The methodology can mislead researchers in several ways, including: (a) A lack of power can result in an erroneous rejection of the theory; (b) the focus on directionality (ordinal tests) rather than more precise quantitative predictions limits the information gained; and (c) the misuse of probability values to indicate effect size. An alternative approach is proposed which involves employing the theory to generate explicit effect size predictions that are compared to the effect size estimates and related confidence intervals to test the theoretical predictions. This procedure is illustrated employing the Transtheoretical Model. Data from a sample (N=3,967) of smokers from a large New England HMO system was used to test the model. There were a total of 15 predictions evaluated, each involving the relation between Stage of Change and one of the other 15 Transtheoretical Model variables. For each variable, omega-squared and the related confidence interval was calculated and compared to the predicted effect sizes. Eleven of the 15 predictions were confirmed, providing support for the theoretical model. Quantitative predictions represent a much more direct, informative, and strong test of a theory than the traditional test of significance.
Velicer, W.F., Cumming, G., Fava, J.L., Rossi, J.S., Prochaska, JO, & Johnson, J. L. (in press). Testing Theory-Using Quantitative Predictions of Effect Size. Applied Psychology: An International Review, 00, 00-00.
Validity of Stage Assessment in the Adoption and Maintenance of Physical Activity and Fruit and Vegetable Consumption
- Strongly supports stage as non-linear change
Objective. Stage assessments are examined to develop and test refined measurements that can be used for classifying individuals. Design. Stages were assessed in 1,850 persons in terms of their physical activity and dietary behaviors. Main Outcome Measures. Stages for both behaviors were compared to behavior and other test variables. Misclassification, sensitivity, specificity, Receiver-Operation- Curves, and discontinuity patterns were computed. Discontinuity patterns were tested with trends across stages and planned contrasts between adjacent stages. Results. In comparison to previous studies, sensitivity (70%-80%) and specificity (80%-87%) were high. When using lower level criteria (such as less intensive activity), sensitivity was lower, whereas specificity was higher. When behavioral maintenance was assessed, results suggested that the temporal cut-off point between Action and Maintenance was equally optimal at different cut-off points. Applying contrast analyses, nonlinear trends across the stages and a match of 87% of predictions of stage differences resulted. Conclusion. Stage assumptions are supported in general, and refined stage assessment in particular. Levels of psychological variables (e.g., easiness, habit) may discriminate stages as well as or even better than temporal stage definitions.
Lippke, S., Ziegelmann, J.P., Schwarzer, R. & Velicer, W.F. (in press). Validity of Stage Assessment in the Adoption and Maintenance of Physical Activity and Fruit and Vegetable Consumption. Health Psychology, 00, 00-00.
Stage and Non-stage Theories of Behavior and Behavior Change: A Comment on Schwarzer
- Includes analogy to punctuated equilibrium Theory in Natural Sciences
Schwarzer characterizes theories as being Continuum Models or Stage Models. We prefer the labels Theories of Behavior and Theories of Behavior Change. The stage concept is designed to represent the temporal dimension. In this way, individuals are viewed as evolving over time. Theories of behavior change also focus on dynamic variables, i.e. variables that are open to change while theories of behavior will focus on static variables. Schwarzer focuses on the Health Action Process Approach (HAPA), which distinguishes between pre-intentional motivational processes and post-intentional volition processes and makes a compelling case that theories of behavior change need to differentiate between at least two stages, motivation and action, if they are to fill the intention–behavior gap. In some HAPA studies, these two stages are expanded into three stages. The issue of how many stages there are and what are the best ways to represent, assess and treat the different stages represents an important research focus. This response discusses several reasons to believe that the stage differentiation of five stages included as part of the Transtheoretical Model is superior to the two- or three-stage model included as part of HAPA.
Velicer, W. F, & Prochaska, J. O. (2008). Stage and Non-stage Theories of Behavior and Behavior Change: A Comment on Schwarzer. Applied Psychology: An International Review, 57, 75-83.
Meta-Analytic Examination of the Strong and Weak Principles Across 48 Health Behaviors
- TTM relation between stage and decisional balance replicates across 48 different behaviors
Objective. The strong and weak principles of change state that progress from the precontemplation to the action stage of change is associated with a one standard deviation increase in the pros and a one-half standard deviation decrease in the cons of change. In this study these relationships, originally developed by Prochaska [Prochaska, J.O., 1994. Strong and weak principles for progressing from precontemplation to action on the basis of 12 problem behaviors. Health Psychology, 13, 47–51.] Based on an examination of 12 studies of 12 different behaviors, were re-examined using many more datasets and much more rigorous statistical methods. Methods. The current study analyzes 120 datasets from studies conducted between 1984 and 2003 across and within 48 health behaviors, including nearly 50,000 participants from 10 countries. The datasets were primarily analyzed utilizing metaanalytic techniques. Results. Despite the range of behaviors and populations, the results were remarkably consistent with the original results (pros=1.00 standard deviation, cons=0.56 standard deviation). Few potential moderators showed any impact on effect size distributions. Conclusions. This updated and enhanced examination of two important principles of behavior change is a significant contribution to the field of multiple health risk behaviors, as it clearly demonstrates the consistency of the theoretical principles across multiple behaviors, which has implications for developing multiple health risk behavior interventions.Hall, K., Rossi, J. S. (2008). Meta-Analytic Examination of the Strong and Weak Principles Across 48 Health Behaviors. Preventive Medicine, 46-266-274
Does tailoring matter? Meta-analytic review of tailored print health behavior change interventions
- Evaluates consistency of tailoring and stage effects across intervention studies
Although there is a large and growing literature on tailored print health behavior change interventions, it is currently not known if or to what extent tailoring works. The current study provides a meta-analytic review of this literature, with a primary focus on the effects of tailoring. A comprehensive search strategy yielded 57 studies that met inclusion criteria. Those studies—which contained a cumulative N=58,454—were subsequently meta-analyzed. The sample size-weighted mean effect size of the effects of tailoring on health behavior change was found to be r = .074. Variables that were found to significantly moderate the effect included (a) type of comparison condition, (b) health behavior, (c) type of participant population (both type of recruitment and country of sample), (d) type of print material, (e) number of intervention contacts, (f) length of follow-up, (g) number and type of theoretical concepts tailored on, and (h) whether demographics and/or behavior were tailored on. Implications of these results are discussed and future directions for research on tailored health messages and interventions are offered.
Noar, S.M., Benac, C. N., & Harris, M. S. (2007). Does tailoring matter? Meta-analytic review of tailored print health behavior change interventions. Psychological Bulletin, 133, 673-693.
Demographic variables, smoking variables, and outcome across five studies
- Compares stage effect to severity and demographic effects on intervention Outcomes
Objective: Intervention effectiveness can potentially be affected by membership in different demographic subgroups (race, ethnicity, gender, age, and education level) or smoking behavior variables (time to first cigarette, longest previous quit attempt, number of attempts in the past year, number of cigarettes, and stage of change). Previous research on these 2 sets of variables has produced mixed results. Design: This secondary data analysis combined data from 5 effectiveness trials (a random digit- dial sample [N=1,358], members of an HMO [N=207], parents of students recruited for a school-based study [N=347], patients from an insurance provider list [N=535], and employees [N=175]) in which smokers were all proactively recruited from a defined population and all received the same expert system intervention. The intervention produced a consistent 22% to 26% point prevalence cessation rate across the 5 studies. Main Outcome Measures: The main outcome measures were 24-hr point prevalence, 7-day point prevalence, 30-day prolonged abstinence, and 6- month prolonged abstinence. Results: There were no significant differences in outcome across gender, race, and ethnicity subgroups. There were significant differences and small effect sizes for age and education subgroups. There were significant differences and large effect sizes for all 5 smoking behavior variables. Discussion: Demographic variables are static variables; whereas the smoking variables are more dynamic, that is, open to change. Given the dynamic nature of the smoking variables and the large effect sizes, interventions tailored on the smoking variables should be more successful.
Velicer, W. F, Redding, C. A., Sun, X. & Prochaska, J. O. (2007). Demographic variables, smoking variables, and outcome across five studies. Health Psychology, 26, 278-287.
Transtheoretical Model-based multiple behavior intervention for weight management: effectiveness on a population basis
- Demonstrates Transtheoretical Model Tailoring produced significant change in multiple behavior related to healthy weight management.
Background. The increasing prevalence of overweight and obesity underscores the need for evidence-based, easily disseminable interventions for weight management that can be delivered on a population basis. The Transtheoretical Model (TTM) offers a promising theoretical framework for multiple behavior weight management interventions. Methods. Overweight or obese adults (BMI 25–39.9; n=1277) were randomized to no-treatment control or home-based, stage-matched multiple behavior interventions for up to three behaviors related to weight management at 0, 3, 6, and 9 months. All participants were re-assessed at 6, 12, and 24 months. Results. Significant treatment effects were found for healthy eating (47.5% versus 34.3%), exercise (44.90% versus 38.10%), managing emotional distress (49.7% versus 30.30%), and untreated fruit and vegetable intake (48.5% versus 39.0%) progressing to Action/Maintenance at 24 months. The groups differed on weight lost at 24 months. Co-variation of behavior change occurred and was much more pronounced in the treatment group, where individuals progressing to Action/Maintenance for a single behavior were 2.5 to 5 times more likely to make progress on another behavior. The impact of the multiple behavior intervention was more than three times that of single behavior interventions. Conclusions. This study demonstrates the ability of TTM-based tailored feedback to improve healthy eating, exercise, managing emotional distress, and weight on a population basis. The treatment produced a high level of population impact that future multiple behavior interventions can seek to surpass.
Johnson, S. S., Paiva, A. L., Cummins, C. O., Johnson, J. L., Dyment, S. J., Wright, J. A., Prochaska, J. O., Prochaska, J. M., & Sherman, K. (2008). Transtheoretical Model-based multiple behavior intervention for weight management: effectiveness on a population basis. Preventive Medicine, 46, 238-246.
Members of Pro-Change Behavior Systems, Inc. recently presented to standing room only audiences at the Society of Behavioral Medicine Annual Conference in San Diego. Topics ranged from depression prevention to multiple health risk intervention to smoking cessation. Also presented as part of symposia were findings on theory-based approaches to health interventions across various communication channels and a Transtheoretical Model based approach to health coaching using Computerized Tailored Interventions (CTIs).
The first symposium, organized by Dr. Kerry Evers and entitled “Innovative, Theory-Based Approaches to Health Interventions Across Various Communication Channels,” included overviews of three health interventions being distributed through distinct communication channels. All three interventions utilized a theoretical framework as the centerpiece for content development and offered examples of successfully disseminating innovative, science-based health interventions. The presentation by Dr. Leanne Mauriello reviewed the overarching use of theory in the development of healthy lifestyle and obesity prevention CTIs for student populations.
The second symposium entitled “Disseminating and Implementing Computerized Tailored Intervention Now and in the Future: Who’s Reached and Who’s Not” focused on how new technologies can contribute to health disparities due to the relatively slow diffusion of innovations, particularly to underserved populations. CTIs have growing evidence of efficacy and effectiveness as innovative technologies but also have barriers to reaching those who could benefit from them. Dissemination and implementation research is critical to an understanding of how best to expand the reach and impact of CTIs. Dr. Evers discussed barriers from the industry perspective and strategies for dissemination and commercialization.
Dr. Janet Johnson, presenting for Dr. Deborah Levesque, described a randomized trial of a stage-based CTI for depression in primary care. The treatment produced reliable and clinically significant improvement in level of depression, prevention of major depression among patients experiencing only subclinical symptoms at baseline, and progress to the Action or Maintenance stage among patients in a Pre-Action stage at baseline. Strengths of the Pro-Change approach include its low cost, easy access at home, and foundation in an empirically validated model of behavior change.
Another presentation discussed a study of a brief stage-tailored health risk CTI delivered by Quality Health Solutions, Inc. The study conducted by Pro-Change investigated the prevalence of multiple behavioral risk factors among a set of employees, changes in risk status following the brief stage-matched intervention, and relationships between changes in risk status and worker productivity and quality of life. Dr. Janet Johnson presented evidence supporting relationships between the reductions in behavioral risks and improvements in productivity and quality of life.
The final presentation discussed a meta-analytic study of the effectiveness of Transtheoretical Model (TTM) based smoking interventions over time. The TTM is the theoretical foundation for many diverse smoking cessation interventions, with variable outcomes. Systematic, narrative reviews of the TTM’s efficacy have arrived at conflicting conclusions. The current study found, in general, that participants in treatment conditions were anywhere from 25% to 56% more likely to have quit smoking compared to participants in comparison conditions. Moreover, effect sizes were sustained at long-term 24-month follow-ups. Patricia Castle, M.A. showed that the patterns of effects over time support the efficacy of TTM cessation interventions across a range of settings. Pro-Change’s programs apply TTM tailoring in the manner that produces the best effects.
About the Presentations
“Innovative, Theory-Based Approaches to Health Interventions Across Various Communication Channels,” Kerry E. Evers, Ph.D., Pro-Change Behavior Systems, Inc.; Jay Maddock, University of Hawaii at Manoa; Leanne M. Mauriello, Ph.D., Pro-Change Behavior Systems, Inc. abstract
Abstract: In the past decade the development and testing of health promotion and behavior change interventions have proliferated. Some of the challenges for the future include wider reach, broader dissemination channels, and continued attention focused on promoting science and evidence-based practices. Innovative strategies for integrating theoretical models in the development of health interventions and for designing for dissemination from the start of development are important for the future. The appeal and disadvantages of different communication channels in regard to implementation and practicality need to be considered, as well as recommendations for integration of health interventions across communication channels.
“A Transtheoretical Model-Based Approach to Health Coaching using Computerized Tailored Interventions.” Kerry E. Evers, Ph.D., Sara S. Johnson, Ph.D., Janice M. Prochaska, Ph.D., Pro-Change Behavior Systems, Inc. abstract
Abstract: The World Health Organization (WHO) has estimated that by 2015, world deaths from lifestyle diseases will double unless major efforts are taken to change lifestyle behaviors (WHO, 2007). Computerized Tailored Interventions (CTIs) based on the Transtheoretical Model (TTM) have been shown to be effective for a variety of behaviors. Using assessment data from all of the constructs of the TTM, CTIs often use expert system technology to provide dynamically tailored, individualized feedback to participants. The programs rely on empirically derived decision rules and expert system logic to match intervention strategies to where individuals are in the process of change and facilitate forward stage movement. This theoretically driven, individualized approach has been successful for increasing stress management, exercise, and weight management in home- and worksite-based interventions delivered via print or the Internet in participants’ homes or through their employers. CTI can also enhance the delivery and maximize the effectiveness of telephone coaching sessions, a common communication vehicle for health behavior change and disease management programs that is in high demand among many employers and health plans. The expert system technology that is central to CTIs can increase fidelity of the intervention by replacing traditional clinical decision making on the part of the coach with evidence-based behavior change guidance. The coach is ushered through brief but reliable and valid assessments that are tailored to the individual participant. The expert system can then generate feedback based on empirical decision-making rules. An added advantage of the integration of CTIs into coaching calls is that the participant can interact with the intervention online between sessions to further facilitate progress.
“Randomized Trial of a Stage-Based Intervention for Depression in Primary Care,” Deborah A. Levesque, Ph.D., Deborah F. Van Marter, M.P.H., Janice M. Prochaska, Ph.D., Pro-Change Behavior Systems, Inc.; Robert J. Schneider, Ed.D., Mark R. Bauer, M.D., Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates, David N. Goldberg, M.D., John Stroger Hospital of Cook County; James O. Prochaska, Ph.D., University of Rhode Island. abstract
Abstract: Depression Prevention: Nine hundred and two adults at risk for depression were recruited from primary care waiting rooms and by telephone. The treatment group received a stage-based manual and an individualized printed report in the mail at baseline, and additional individualized reports at 1 and 3 months follow-up. The treatment and control groups were assessed by phone at 0 and 9 months. At nine months with individuals who were in a Pre-Action stage for depression prevention at baseline, treatment group participants were significantly more likely than controls to experience a clinically significant reduction in depression (37% vs. 17%, respectively), to be in the Action or Maintenance stage for depression prevention (70% vs. 55% respectively), and to be taking antidepressant medication if prescribed (71% vs. 50%). Among study participants who were in the Action or Maintenance stage at baseline, the intervention prevented the onset of depression (11% of treatment participants vs. 19% of control participants experienced a new episode of Major Depression during the follow-up period).
“Results of a brief stage tailored health risk intervention and relationship to quality of life and productivity,” Janet L. Johnson, Ph.D. and Patricia H. Castle, M.A. abstract
Abstract: This study looks at behavior change and impacts on quality of life and productivity among employees who participated in a health risk intervention that provided stage targeted messages on multiple health behaviors. Participants who completed an assessment in both 2006 and 2007 included 3492 employees at a Midwestern university. The majority were female (73.1%) and white (92.7%) with a mean age of 42 (sd=10.9). Among those at risk for each behavior at time 1, 25.8% stopped smoking, 34.0% began exercising regularly, 30.3% began eating a healthy diet, 58.8% began effectively managing stress, 52.4% began drinking responsibly, 68.0% began preventing depression at time 2. The behaviors that showed the greatest proportion of people who had not been at risk regressing into at-risk status were exercise (21.4%), fruit and vegetable intake (20.5%), healthy eating (10.8%), and stress management (11.6%). Individuals showed positive change (i.e. reduced risk) on an average of .68 behaviors, t(3491)=43.46, p<.001, d=.74. The negative change (increased risk) averaged .49 behaviors (t(3491)=39.14, p<.001, d=.66). The negative change appears to be driven by the higher rates of new risk for exercise and eating behaviors. By summing the change scores we calculate an average net change of .19 behaviors which represents a small significant improvement in overall behavioral risk status, t(3491)=8.94, p<.001, d=.15. The relationship of behavior change to quality of life and productivity measures were also examined. Among those who were at risk for a behavior at time 1, small improvements on productivity and quality of life were found for those who were not at risk at time 2, (eta-squared= .01 to .07). Similarly, among those who were not at risk at time 1, those who became at risk at time 2 showed small declines in productivity and quality of life (eta-squared=.01 to .07). Behavior change can significantly impact quality of life and productivity. By using stage tailored messages to improve behavior change, quality of life and productivity can also be impacted.
“The Use of Theory in Developing Interactive Interventions to Promote Healthy Lifestyles among Student Populations,” Leanne M. Mauriello, Ph.D., Carol O. Cummins, M.Ed., M.L.I.S., Karen J. Sherman, B.A., & Sharon J. Dyment, M.P.H., Pro-Change Behavior Systems, Inc. abstract
Abstract: As the rates of obesity increase and the consequences become more severe, the successful promotion of healthy lifestyle behaviors to student populations becomes ever more important. Risk factors for chronic disease begin in childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood, and consequently, prevention efforts must begin early. Interactive technologies are a promising means for developing and disseminating health behavior change interventions on a population basis to students. With improved program retention, wider reach, and less reliance on staff for delivery, interactive technologies offer a cost-effective means of delivering interventions. In addition, youthful users enjoy the appeal and interactivity of such programs. Despite the benefits, to date there has been a lack of effective evidence-based, theory-grounded interactive interventions for youth in the areas of obesity prevention and healthy lifestyle promotion. Innovative, multiple behavior, theory-based, interactive interventions are in development for student populations, ranging from elementary school to college populations. The Transtheoretical Model (TTM) guided the development of each of these interventions, including the development of measures, the creation of tailored feedback messages, the selection of images, and the design of interactive components such as online workbooks, videos, and testimonials. It is important to carefully and thoroughly utilize a theoretical framework throughout all aspects of intervention development.
“A Meta-Analytic Study of TTM Smoking Cessation Interventions,” Patricia H. Castle, M.A., Pro-Change Behavior Systems, Inc.; Colleen A. Redding, Joseph S. Rossi, University of Rhode Island. abstract
Abstract: Smoking causes 35% of all cancers, 33% of all heart attacks and strokes, and 90% of COPD. In spite of its risks, 22% of the population still smokes. These facts underscore the importance of population-based smoking cessation interventions. The Transtheoretical Model (TTM) is the theoretical foundation for many diverse smoking cessation interventions, with variable outcomes. Systematic reviews of the TTM’s efficacy have arrived at conflicting conclusions. This study compared effect sizes across 24 randomized controlled trials (including a combined sample size of N=27,190) of TTM cessation treatments using meta-analytic procedures to examine the 24-hour point prevalence smoking abstinence rates across time. These 24 studies were conducted in a range of community (37.5%), school (4.2%), and health care (58.3%) settings; most targeted smoking only (91.7%), many used proactive recruitment strategies (79.2%), and more than half were conducted outside the U. S. (62.5%). Intervention modalities ranged from counseling (41.9%) to computer-based expert systems (32.3%). Most comparison groups were usual care (79.2%) and the remainder were assessment only (20.8%). Odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals were computed revealing a series of significant pooled ORs over time ranging from 1.25 – 1.56 across time points ranging from 1 month to 24 months. Overall effect sizes were larger for studies that used (1) three/four TTM constructs compared to one/two constructs, and (2) a computerized tailored expert system modality compared to counseling. In general, participants in treatment conditions were anywhere from 25% to 56% more likely to have quit smoking compared to participants in comparison conditions. Moreover, effect sizes were sustained at long-term 24-month follow-ups. These patterns of pooled effect sizes over time support the efficacy of TTM cessation interventions across a range of settings.
Pro-Change has received a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to develop a computer-based tailored intervention to promote healthy behaviors during pregnancy. The pilot program will be conducted in July and August 2008 at sites of the Community Health Center, Inc., one of the leading health care providers in Connecticut.
Focus groups and interviews with underserved pregnant women and key informants are guiding the development of an intervention that is acceptable, medically accurate, and easily disseminated. The intervention is based on the Transtheoretical Model of Behavior Change, which matches change principles and processes to each person’s stage readiness to guide individuals through the change process. It is designed to promote the adoption and maintenance of healthy behaviors among pregnant women, ultimately for use in health clinics and provider offices throughout the country, as well as health promotion and wellness organizations.
The intervention will address three important behaviors for a healthy pregnancy: smoking cessation and maintenance, stress management, and healthy eating, with an emphasis on fruit and vegetable consumption. The intervention content will assist women with behavior changes during pregnancy, with an emphasis on strategies for sustaining behavior changes postpartum.
One of the specific aims of the program is to assess the most cost-effective and acceptable methods for disseminating the proposed intervention. Input from leaders in maternal and child health, and the disease management industry including Healthways, Inc. will help identify dissemination channels.
Roughly 100 participants are being recruited from the Community Health Center, Inc. of Connecticut. Leanne Mauriello, Ph.D. the principal investigator of the grant stated that, “A population-based, healthy pregnancy behavioral intervention suite based on scientific and theoretical underpinnings and designed for broad and flexible dissemination provides an innovative approach to supporting maternal and child health.”
Journal of Preventive Medicine Special Issue Includes Pro-Change Articles on Multiple Behavior ChangeMarch 12th, 2008
The Journal of Preventive Medicine’s (AJPM) March 2008 issue is a special issue on multiple behavior change. All three articles submitted by Pro-Change were accepted and appear in this special issue.
Until recently, there was no programmatic research demonstrating the effectiveness of interventions designed to simultaneously change two or more target behaviors. In this special issue, the Pro-Change team demonstrated simultaneous behavior change applying tailored interventions based on the Transtheoretical Model (TTM).
The first article features an intervention for healthy weight management. The study demonstrated the ability of tailored feedback to improve healthy eating, exercise, weight, and managing emotional distress on a population basis. The treatment produced the highest population impact to date on multiple health risk behaviors. The article citation and abstract are available on our Weight Management page.
The study in the second article was designed to compare the initial efficacy of Motivational Interviewing (MI) and Pro-Change’s online TTM-tailored communications on four health risk factors (inactivity, weight, stress, and smoking) to a brief Health Risk Intervention (HRI) delivered by Quality Health Solutions in a worksite sample. The results found that the MI and TTM groups, when compared with an HRI-only group, had significantly more participants in the Action stage for exercise and effective stress management and significantly fewer risk behaviors at six months. This was the first study to demonstrate that MI and online TTM could produce significant multiple behavior changes. The article citation and abstract are available on our TTM page.
The third article features measurement development on the topic of childhood and adolescent obesity prevention. Nationwide samples of students in grades 4 through 12 completed self-administered questionnaires assessing TTM constructs and behavioral indicators for physical activity, fruit and vegetable consumption, and limiting television time. Analyses were conducted to compare the prevalence of students at-risk for the target behaviors across the age groups and to examine the interrelationships of the target behavior risks. Across the three age groups, physical activity and fruit and vegetable consumption declined, while limiting TV time increased. Across all three samples, being at-risk for one behavior almost always significantly increased the odds of being at-risk for another behavior. The findings of this study provide further evidence for the need for early promotion of healthy lifestyle behaviors. The article citation and abstract are available on our Adolescent Obesity Prevention page.
“Given a window of intervention opportunity, a higher impact paradigm is to target multiple behaviors,” states Janice M. Prochaska, president & CEO of Pro-Change Behaviors Systems, Inc. “Our growing evidence supports the ability of multiple risk behavior change interventions to produce increased impacts on public health.”
The National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices (NREPP), a service of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), recently gave high ratings to the Pro-Change Stress Management Program.
Supported by a grant from the National Cancer Institute, the Pro-Change Stress Management Program assists individuals in managing their stress more effectively using practices such as relaxation, time management, and social support activities.
NREPP is an interactive resource for professionals in the fields of Substance Abuse and Mental Health. Their ratings and intervention summaries synthesize and evaluate research so as to help potential users of interventions better understand their scientific evidence base. NREPP rates the quality of the research supporting intervention outcomes and the quality and availability of training and implementation materials on a scale of 0.0 – 4.0.
The Pro-Change Stress Management program received overall ratings ranging from 2.9 – 3.5 for the quality of the research and a 3.8 overall rating for readiness for dissemination. Specific strengths cited included rigorous study design, relatively long-term follow-up (18 months), use of two well-recognized measures of stress and depression, assessors blind to the experimental condition, and appropriate statistical analyses.
Both online and offline versions of the Stress Management program are available for implementation. The program is completely self-directed; no training is required. Technical assistance is available to support users before and during implementation. The computerized nature of the program ensures implementation fidelity, and the interactive computer application allows administrators to monitor program use and progress.
In a clinical trial of the program’s effectiveness, Dr. Kerry Evers of Pro-Change conducted a study of a national sample of adults who received the Stress Management intervention. At the 18-month follow-up, a significantly larger proportion of the treatment group (62%) was effectively managing their stress when compared to the control group. The intervention also produced significant reductions in stress and depression, and an increase in the use of stress management techniques when compared to the control group.
To view a demo of the stress management program go to www.prochange.com/stressdemo. To read the full outcome article see Evers, K.E., Prochaska, J.O., Mauriello, L.M., Padula, J.A. and Prochaska, J.M. (2006). A randomized clinical trial of a population and transtheoretical-based stress management intervention. Health Psychology 25 (4), 521-529. An abstract of this article is available on our Stress Management product page.
President Elvira Craig de Silva of the National Association of Social Workers has appointed Janice M. Prochaska, Ph.D., President and CEO of Pro-Change Behavior Systems, Inc., as one of the seven members of the Social Work Editorial Board.
The Social Work journal, established in 1956, is the professional journal published by the National Association of Social Work (NASW), which is provided to all NASW members as a membership benefit. The journal’s purpose is to improve practices and advance knowledge in social work and social welfare.
Drs. Janice and James Prochaska of Pro-Change Behavior Systems Inc., along with Paul Mastrangelo, Ph.D. of Genesee Survey Services, Inc. will present a Master Tutorial on How People Change: In the Workplace at the 23rd Annual Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP) Conference in San Francisco on April 12, 2008.
The journal of Preventive Medicine in early 2008 will publish a special issue on multiple behavior change. All three articles submitted by Pro-Change were accepted. They include: Transtheoretical Model-based Multiple Behavior Intervention for Weight Management: Effectiveness on a Population Basis; Relationships Among Multiple Behaviors for Childhood and Adolescent Obesity Prevention; and Initial Efficacy of MI, TTM Tailoring, and HRI’s with Multiple Behaviors for Employee Health Promotion.
Recognized for its authoritative contributions to the entire field of preventive medicine and public health, Preventive Medicine: An International Journal Devoted to Practice and Theory is a respected source of information on applied research into all aspects of prevention.
Pro-Change director Sara Johnson, Ph.D. was recently invited to present a full-day workshop for IBM’s Global Well-being Services and Health Benefits Division.
The workshop outlined strategic approaches to elicit employee behavior change and drive smarter, more cost-effective use of health services and greater attention to healthy living. Attendees reviewed a definition of “proactive health consumerism” and the Transtheoretical Model of Behavior Change, which demonstrates that individuals progress through a series of distinct stages en route to adopting and maintaining health behaviors.
Dr. Johnson presented examples of the Transtheoretical Model’s successful application to multiple behavior change (e.g., weight management). These findings support the notion that different intervention and communication strategies are needed to engage and impact people in different stages. Current activities within Global Health and Well-being that leverage a stage-based approach to promoting proactive health consumerism were discussed, and participants then were challenged to outline intervention strategies that employ a stage-based approach to promoting proactive health consumerism among employees.
Tailoring Information Therapy: Applying Next-Generation Analytics and Behavior Change Theory was the key note address delivered by James O. Prochaska, Ph.D., Founder of Pro-Change Behavior Systems, Inc. at the sixth Annual Information Therapy Conference in Park City, Utah.
The science for how we tailor interventions, target health information, and engage consumers is expanding rapidly. Dr. Prochaska spoke on how this new science can be effectively translated into Information Theory innovation. Following the key note, Kerry Evers, Ph.D. demonstrated Pro-Change’s LifeStyle management programs and how they are presently being used by Healthways, Inc.
Pro-Change Behavior Systems, Inc. received a Tibbetts Award in recognition of significant achievements involving technological innovation related to the Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR). Pro-Change President & CEO, Janice M. Prochaska, accepted the award at a ceremony in Washington, D. C. on October 10, 2007. Pro-Change was selected for its outstanding SBIR research, dissemination, and commercialization of health behavior change programs funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease and Prevention.
Named for Roland Tibbetts, acknowledged as the father of the SBIR Program, these prestigious national awards are given annually to small firms judged to exemplify the best in SBIR achievement. The Small Business Technology Council (SBTC), a council of the National Small Business Association, is the lead sponsor of the award.
Janice Prochaska with Roland Tibbetts, left and Jere Glover.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has awarded Pro-Change a Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant to develop a computer-based healthy pregnancy program for underserved pregnant women. The program will offer tailored advice on smoking cessation and maintenance, stress management, and healthy eating. Dr. Leanne Mauriello, Principal Investigator, is leading formative research and pilot testing in collaboration with the Community Health Center, Inc. of Connecticut.
HealthString signed a contract with Pro-Change Behavior Systems, Inc. to license seven online Transtheoretical Model health behavior change programs: stress management, weight management, depression prevention, exercising regularly, smoking cessation, and managing high blood pressure and managing high cholesterol through medication adherence, diet, and exercise.
HealthString is a secure, online, dynamic personal health network that improves accessibility and use of important personal health information via the Internet. HealthString empowers individuals to proactively manage their health by enabling behavior changes that lead to a healthier lifestyle. With HealthString consumers have access to personal RN Health Coaches and technology to improve the quality of care and the quality of personal health.
A study done at Oregon Health & Science University demonstrated that Motivational Interviewing and Pro-Change’s LifeStyle online programs produced significant multiple behavior changes. A total of 25.2% of eligible employees were recruited for the online Pro-Change interventions. Quality Health Solutions brokered the collaboration of Pro-Change, OHSU, and the University of Rhode Island for the grant funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
For more information, see:
Prochaska, J.O., et al., Initial efficacy of MI, TTM tailoring and HRI’s with multiple behaviors for employee health promotion, Preventive Medicine (2007).
Objective. This study was designed to compare the initial efficacy of Motivational Interviewing (MI), Online Transtheoretical Model (TTM)-tailored communications and a brief Health Risk Intervention (HRI) on four health risk factors (inactivity, BMI, stress and smoking) in a worksite sample.
Method. A randomized clinical trial assigned employees to one of three recruitment strategies and one of the three treatments. The treatment protocol included an HRI session for everyone and in addition either a recommended three TTM online sessions or three MI in person or telephone sessions over 6 months. At the initial post-treatment assessment at 6 months, groups were compared on the percentage who had progressed from at risk to taking effective action on each of the four risks.
Results. Compared to the HRI only group, the MI and TTM groups had significantly more participants in the Action stage for exercise and effective stress management and significantly fewer risk behaviors at 6 months. MI and TTM group outcomes were not different.
Conclusion. This was the first study to demonstrate that MI and online TTM could produce significant multiple behavior changes. Future research will examine the long-term impacts of each treatment, their cost effectiveness, effects on productivity and quality of life and process variables mediating outcomes.
Pro-Change has completed a Phase 2 NIH Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant for Depression Prevention.
Nine hundred and two adults at risk for depression were recruited from primary care waiting rooms and by telephone. The treatment group received a stage-based manual and an individualized printed report in the mail at baseline, and additional individualized reports at 1 and 3 months follow-up. The treatment and control groups were assessed by phone at 0 and 9 months. At nine months with individuals who were in a pre-Action stage for depression prevention at baseline, treatment group participants were significantly more likely than controls to experience a clinically significant reduction in depression (37% vs. 17%, respectively), to be in the Action or Maintenance stage for depression prevention (70% vs. 55% respectively), and to be taking antidepressant medication if prescribed (71% vs. 50%). Among study participants who were in the Action or Maintenance stage at baseline, the intervention prevented the onset of depression (11% of treatment participants vs. 19% of control participants experienced a new episode of Major Depression during the follow-up period).
Ten years ago today, Pro-Change began as a company with its first contract with Electronic Data Systems (EDS).