Digitally assisted interventions for the treatment and prevention of risky behavior in adults: Incorporating the transtheoretical model

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To have a significant and sustainable impact on attaining and maintaining healthy behaviors, the Transtheoretical Model of Behavior Change addresses the needs of entire populations, not just the minority who are motivated to take immediate action for better health. The six stages of change are outlined as well as the 10 processes of change or strategies to progress from one stage to the next. Digitally assisted interventions tailored to specific stages of change allow programs supported by computer-based tools and methodologies to be interactive and individualized for treatment and prevention of entire populations with risk behaviors like smoking, inactivity, unhealthy diets, alcohol misuse, and ineffectively managed stress. Digitally assisted interventions include mobile phones, personal digital assistants, smartphones, portable media players, tablets, and smart books. The devices have a range of functions from mobile cellular communication using text messages, photos and videos, telephone, and worldwide web access to multimedia playback and software application support. They allow temporal synchronization of the intervention delivery and allow the intervention to engage people’s attention when it is most relevant. The chapter presents examples of transtheoretical, digitally assisted interventions for use by both clients and coaches. Evidence is presented that compares the effectiveness of the digital programs.

Publication Title, e.g., Journal

The Oxford Handbook of Digital Technologies and Mental Health