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Keywords:

  • health promotion;
  • disease prevention;
  • behavioral change

The documents Healthy People 2000 and its update, Healthy People 2010, have helped focus national attention on the neglected areas of disease prevention and health promotion and maintenance. Despite increasing awareness and the proliferation of research that demonstrates the effectiveness of a healthy lifestyle for disease prevention, patients and healthcare professionals continue to struggle with an effective approach to effecting healthy lifestyle strategies. The inclusion of health promotion goals into care plans seldom is enough to create positive behavioral changes in a patient. Understanding what motivates an older individual to adopt healthy habits and what behavioral change process the individual must take to be successful is a key starting point for the rehabilitation nurse dedicated to the promotion of health and wellness. The transtheoretical model of change (TTM) is an approach that can be used to create an atmosphere for the adoption of healthy lifestyle practices, and assist in the behavioral change process necessary to promote older adults' success in this endeavor.