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Patients' readiness for dietary change at the beginning of counselling: a transtheoretical model-based assessment

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Abstract Background 

The purpose of this study was to explore patients' readiness for dietary change within a theoretical framework of the transtheoretical model. The patients were recently diagnosed to have type 2 diabetes or impaired glucose tolerance. We discuss the theoretical aspects of appropriate dietary counselling strategies from a standpoint of patient-specific stages of change. Methods 

The data included 32 audiotaped diabetes counselling sessions with 16 patients conducted by two nurses. The transcribed data was analysed by using deductive content analysis. Results 

The patients were at different stages of change of diabetes-affected dietary behaviour. Their stages of change varied in different dietary areas and within certain dietary habits. These stages of change could involve their overall dietary behaviour or some minor aspects of their diets. Conclusions 

Understanding patient-specific stages of change orientates health counsellors to use the most appropriate counselling strategies. The transtheoretical framework helps counsellors to perceive the total range of patients' different stages of change and their effect on the implementation of counselling. However, determining patients' stages of change through examining counselling conversations is occasionally difficult. Further qualitative research is called for.
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Keywords: counselling; diabetes; dietary habit; readiness for change; transtheoretical model

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Faculty of Sport Sciences, Department of Health Sciences, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland

Publication date: 2003-06-01

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