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We develop an integrated theory of health communication by combining protection motivation theory (PMT; Rogers, 1983) with the stages of change described in the transtheoretical model (Prochaska & DClemente, 1982). Our study challenges the assumption implicit in PMT that perceptions of vulnerability, severity, response efficacy, and self-efficacy are equally weighted across individuals. Rather, we propose that people at different stages of readiness to change are differentially affected by levels of these predictor variables. Results from our experiment confirm that vulnerability, severity, and efficacy (response and self) are the main motivators to change behavior during the precontemplation, contemplation, and action stages, respectively. Furthermore, we explore how specific categories of beliefs identified by the transtheoretical model are associated with perceptions of vulnerability, severity, response efficacy, and self-efficacy.