Written Assignment 3- University of Rhode Island Change Assessment Scale

Acton 1

Emily Acton

Dr. Spencer

Health Behavior

28 February 2016

Written Assignment 3- University of Rhode Island Change Assessment Scale

The URICA (University of Rhode Island Change Assessment) and the short form of assessing the stage of change in “Changing for Good” (Prochaska, 1994) are very different, yet both are able to help determine which stage of change an individual is in. Personally, I think both are effective, but the URICA scale dives into more depth. I believe that URICA covers more unknown area than the short form, allowing for greater accuracy. However, if an individual is taking the URICA, the length will likely cause some feelings of overwhelm. The individual, in my opinion, should take the URICA with a wellness coach or other professional so they can be guided through it. The short form has the image of being less overwhelming due to the simple and short questions it contains, and can be done quickly. A wellness coach could still use this, but the individual is capable of doing it on his or her own and then bringing it back to discuss with the coach. After taking both, I received similar results to a degree, but there were some differences due to each test being dramatically different.

The URICA contains 32 questions and a guide to scoring at the end. Each question pertains to a stage of change, but questions for each stage are scattered throughout the quiz. Also, each question is ranked one through five, one being strongly disagree and five being strongly agree. After taking about 5 minutes to complete the actual quiz, I had to begin the computations to determine which stage of change I resulted in. In order to determine your stage of change, you must add the the numbers (one though five) together based off of the questions that correspond with that stage of change. Continuing in the process of finding your stage of change, you must find the average of each stage of change based on the total in each, then find your total score by following a formula the URICA provides. This finally led me to my score of 10.3, which indicates that I am closest to being in the contemplation stage.

The short form created by Prochaska in his “Changing for Good” (1994) self help book, only four statements are needed to help an individual view what stage of change you are in. The individual taking the short form must simply answer yes or no to each statement, and a wellness coach or anyone with the key to stage of change determination can view what stage he or she is in. After I finished this quiz in less than two minutes, I was able to view what stage I was in. My results concluded that I am a mixture between the contemplation and action stages.

Comparing the results for each quiz was intriguing to view. It was not expected that the URICA would place me in the contemplation stage, as well as the short form placing me in between the contemplation and action stages. Personally, I believe that I am in the action stage currently due to the fact I am actively working on my behavior change goal. Although, I am not taking every measure I placed on my SMART goal action plan which could be a factor in being placed in the contemplation stage in each quiz. As I begin to do all of the steps in my action plan from my SMART goal, I expect that the contemplation aspect would start to diminish and the action aspect would become more prominent.

Taking both the URICA and the short form quizzes, I got a sense of which quiz should be used with and without assistance. The URICA quiz is definitely more complex, and a person who does not have a high education or literacy level would have difficulty completing it, which is why I strongly believe it should be completed with he assistance of a wellness coach or other professional. The short form may still pose some difficulty to people with low education and literacy levels, but it can be done outside of wellness coaching as long as the individual can read and answer the questions and determine his or her stage of change with the provided stage key. I believe that the URICA is more useful because it covers more questions and provides more in depth scenarios, but the short form is a quick way to find what general stage of change(s) area you are near. Both quizzes can be effective and provide some sort of answer if used in the correct way, which can be extremely beneficial to anyone looking to change a habit or behavior.

Works Cited

"HABITS Lab - UMBC." University of Rhode Island. Web.

Prochaska, James O., John C. Norcross, and Carlo C. DiClemente. Changing for Good: The Revolutionary Program That Explains the Six Stages of Change and Teaches You How to Free Yourself from Bad Habits. New York: W. Morrow, 1994. Print.