The leading causes of death in the United States are predominantly attributable to modifiable behaviors. Patients with behavioral risk factors for premature death and disability, including dietary practices; sexual practices; level of physical activity; motor vehi cle use patterns; and tobacco, alcohol, and illicit sub stance use, are seen far more consistently by primary care providers than by mental health specialists. Yet models of behavior modification are reported, debated, and revised almost exclusively in the psychology literature. While the Stages of Change Model, or Transtheo retical Model, has won application in a broadening array of clinical settings, its application in the primary care setting is apparently quite limited despite evidence of its utility [Prochaska J, Velicer W. Am J Health Promot 1997;12:38-48]. The lack of a rigorous behavioral model developed for application in the primary care setting is an impediment to the accomplishment of public health goals specified in the Healthy People objectives and in the reports of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. The Pressure System Model reported here synthesizes elements of established behavior modification theories for specific application under the constraints of the primary care setting. Use of the model in both clinical and research settings, with outcome evaluation, is encouraged as part of an effort to advance public health.
Copyright 2000 American Health Foundation and Academic Press.