Institutional members access full text with Ovid®

Share this article on:

The Stages of Change: When are Trauma Patients Truly Ready to Change?

Dunn, Chris PhD; Hungerford, Daniel W. DrPH; Field, Craig PhD; McCann, Barbara PhD

Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery: September 2005 - Volume 59 - Issue 3 - p S27-S32
doi: 10.1097/01.ta.0000185298.24593.56

This article summarizes the Stages of Change model, which identifies five stages that people experience as they gradually move away from engaging in harmful behaviors to sustaining healthy behaviors. Patients in different stages of change need different kinds of interventions. The Stages of Change model enhances brief counseling interventions for trauma patients with substance use problems because counselors can now accurately choose an appropriate intervention strategy. The authors present three case studies illustrating the three earliest stages of change most commonly encountered in trauma center patients.

From the University of Washington, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, (C.D., B.M.), Seattle, Washington, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, (D.W.H.), Atlanta, Georgia, University of Texas School of Public Health, Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, (C.F.), Dallas, Texas.

Submitted for publication March 18, 2005.

Accepted for publication April 21, 2005.

This article was written for the proceedings from a conference entitled Alcohol Problems among Hospitalized Trauma Patients: Controlling Complications, Mortality, and Trauma Recidivism in Arlington, Virginia, May 28-30, 2003. It does not reflect the official policy/opinions of the participating agencies, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and it does not constitute an endorsement of the authors or their programs—by CDC, HHS, or the federal government—and none should be inferred.

Address for Reprints: Chris Dunn, PhD, 325 9th Avenue, Box 359896, Seattle, WA 98104-2499; email:

© 2005 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.