Coping with a neurological or other health condition can be very tough. Every person will react differently to the initial diagnosis and the many issues faced along the way.
Researchers Medley and Powell identified five ‘Stages of Change’, which help us to better understand how people living with health conditions cope and recover. It is helpful for people living with these conditions to be aware of these stages and identify which stage they may be in. It is also helpful for their families, friends, carers and health professionals working with them to consider and respect the stage this person may be in.
Stage 1. Pre-contemplation:
– The person is not yet even considering the possibility of change (eg in denial about their health condition or the need to do something about it).
Stage 2. Contemplation:
– The person may have some awareness about the need to change but are ambivalent about doing so (eg starting to talk about going to get help or going to see a Physiotherapist).
* It can often be very difficult to push change in someone who is in stage 1 or 2 unless the decision to do so is instigated by them.
Stage 3. Determined:
– The person has made the decision that change is necessary (eg booked an appointment for Physiotherapy).
Stage 4. Action:
– The person is initiating strategies for change (eg engaging in therapy and completing home exercise program frequently).
* Any positive behavior that is demonstrated from a person in stage 3 or 4 should be encouraged and supported.
Stage 5. Maintenance:
– The person attempts to sustain the change and progress they have made (eg continuing on a self-management exercise program or in weekly classes).
* People in stage 5 should recognize that a plateau in their condition is better than a regression. Therapy should attempt to be kept as interesting and enjoyable as possible.
People may move around the stages of change in response to different challenges and issues they face.
Have a think about what stage of change you or someone you know is in. Are you or they ready to make the change? The team at Advance Rehab Centre can certainly assist you in making these changes in your life! To book an appointment with one of our experienced Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists or Exercise Physiologists, please call on 9906 7777.