Stages of change profiles in outpatient alcoholism treatment

J Subst Abuse. 1990;2(2):217-35. doi: 10.1016/s0899-3289(05)80057-4.


While few believe in the uniformity myth about alcoholics, discovering relevant dimensions that usefully divide the treatment population and guide intervention has been a difficult task. This study evaluated a stages of change assessment measure with a group of 224 adults entering outpatient alcoholism treatment. Subjects' scores on the precontemplation, contemplation, action, and maintenance stage subscales of the URICA were subjected to cluster analysis yielding five distinct and theoretically consistent profiles. Profiles were labeled as follows: 1. Precontemplation (n = 63) 2. Ambivalent (n = 30) 3. Participation (n = 51) 4. Uninvolved (n = 27), and 5. Contemplation (n = 53). These five groups of subjects demonstrated no differences on demographic characteristics but significantly differed on Alcohol Use Inventory subscales, a temptation to drink and abstinence self-efficacy measure as well as several outcome variables. Group differences support the validity of the cluster analytic profiles, confirm the interpretation of profile groups, and provide interesting contrasts consistent with the stages of change model. Classification of individuals on the stages of change offers a useful perspective for alcoholism treatment matching research.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Alcohol Drinking / psychology
  • Alcoholism / psychology
  • Alcoholism / rehabilitation*
  • Ambulatory Care*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Personality Inventory
  • Self Concept
  • Temperance / psychology