Longitudinal changes in stages of change for condom use in women

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Purpose. This study identifies how women naturally progress through the Transtheoretical Model stages of condom use over a 1 year period, using the longitudinal dynamic methodology of latent transition analysis (LTA). Design. As part of a larger study of human immunodeficiency virus risk in women, participants were assessed for their stage of condom use two times, 1 year apart. Subjects. A total of 491 women who completed both assessments of the study were included in this analysis. Measures. Stage of condom use was assessed using two questions, which placed women into one of five stages of change for condom use (α = .90). Results. Latent transition analysis identified the best-fitting model of naturalistic stage progression, which included both forward and backward movement. Precontemplation and maintenance were found to be the most stable stages (more than 50% of the participants remaining in that stage 1 year later), and the action stage was the least stable (15% remaining in this stage). Transition probabilities for all stages showed a high rate of relapse in the sample. Conclusions. A high proportion of women will remain within their stage of condom use over a 1-year period if no intervention is introduced. Interventions that are aimed at increasing condom use in women need to incorporate relapse prevention. In addition, the transition probabilities for the stages will help establish reasonable rates of change for intervention programs.

Publication Title

American Journal of Health Promotion