Testing the predictive power of the transtheoretical model of behavior change applied to dietary fat intake

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This study evaluated how well predictions from the transtheoretical model (TTM) generalized from smoking to diet. Longitudinal data were used from a randomized control trial on reducing dietary fat consumption in adults (n =1207) recruited from primary care practices. Predictive power was evaluated by making a priori predictions of the magnitude of change expected in the TTM constructs of temptation, pros and cons, and 10 processes of change when an individual transitions between the stages of change. Generalizability was evaluated by testing predictions based on smoking data. Three sets of predictions were made for each stage: Precontemplation (PC), Contemplation (C) and Preparation (PR) based on stage transition categories of no progress, progress and regression determined by stage at baseline versus stage at the 12-month follow-up. Univariate analysis of variance between stage transition groups was used to calculate the effect size [omega squared (ω2)]. For diet predictions based on diet data, there was a high degree of confirmation: 92%, 95% and 92% for PC, C and PR, respectively. For diet predictions based on smoking data, 77%, 79% and 85% were confirmed, respectively, suggesting a moderate degree of generalizability. This study revised effect size estimates for future theory testing on the TTM applied to dietary fat. © The Author 2008. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.

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Health Education Research