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URAC’s Latest Podcast Highlights Pro-Change Behavior Systems’ Lifestyle Management Program

Monday, December 21st, 2009

Behavior Change Experts Discuss Program That Helps Consumers Overcome Health Risks

Washington, D.C. – December 21, 2009 – URAC, the nation’s leading health care accreditation and education organization, today launched the latest podcast in its “Highlights in Health” series.  This episode looks at Pro-Change Behavior Systems, Inc. and their Lifestyle Management Program which is helping people make positive, often life-saving changes in the way they live.

The “Highlights in Health” podcast series recognizes innovative programs that health care organizations have developed to protect and empower consumers. Pro-Change Behavior Systems’ leadership in this area was recognized earlier this year when the company received a Gold Award at URAC’s “Best Practices in Health Care Consumer Empowerment and Protection Awards” ceremony. The podcast tells more about how this cutting-edge approach works.

“Most people know which of their behaviors are not healthy, or know they need to care for a chronic condition. However, being able to truly change a lifestyle is difficult,” said URAC President and CEO Alan P. Spielman. “There is a clear need for programs that offer guidance and counsel to those who are trying to adopt healthier behaviors. The programs that have been developed by Pro-Change fill that need.”

Chronic health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and obesity are the leading causes of death and disability in the United States. To manage, or sometimes even prevent, these conditions, consumers often need to make major changes in their behavior and lifestyles. The Pro-Change Lifestyle Management Program offers a suite of health behavior change programs in seven areas: smoking cessation, weight management, stress management, depression prevention, managing cholesterol, managing high blood pressure, and exercising regularly. All of these programs are available to participants both in print and on the Web.

These comprehensive, multi-stage programs are based on the Transtheoretical Model of Behavior Change (TTM), which was developed more than 30 years ago by Dr. James O. Prochaska, Ph.D., a professor and director for the Cancer Prevention Research Center at the University of Rhode Island and the founder of Pro-Change Behavior Systems, Inc.

“The Transtheoretical Model allows us to help people no matter where they are in their readiness to change,” said Dr. Janice M. Prochaska, President and CEO of Pro-Change. “It’s very important for us to be able to reach out to those who are demoralized, who are not ready, or who have a lot of doubt about whether it all is worth it. Participants have told us that ‘this program really respects where I’m at. It gives me feedback that helps me understand what I need to do next.’”

The podcast also features commentary from both Dr. Janice M. Prochaska and Dr. Kerry E. Evers, Ph.D., Senior Vice President of Research and Product Development with Pro-Change Behavior Systems.

Dr. Evers describes the Model’s five stages, which are used to determine where people are in their readiness to change. “These five stages help us determine where the person’s mindset is, and what type of information will be most helpful to move them forward. We really tailor the tools to help participants be the most successful they can be.”

The majority of the Lifestyle Management programs have been built and evaluated through rigorous research programs and clinical trials funded through the National Institutes of Health, and all of the programs have shown significant positive outcomes. For example, the Pro-Change Smoking Cessation program has shown success rates of 22 to 26 percent for people quitting smoking long-term, including smokers with mental illness. With the Stress Management program, Pro-Change found of those enrolled, approximately 60 to 70 percent start managing their stress effectively within six months, and continue effective management 18 months into the program and even beyond.

To learn more about the Pro-Change Behavior Systems programs and to listen to the podcast, visit www.urac.org/podcast. The podcast will also be available on the iTunes store at http://store.apple.com/us.

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For 25 years, URAC has been the independent leader in promoting health care quality through accreditation, education, and measurement. URAC offers a wide range of quality benchmarking programs that reflect the latest changes in health care and provide a symbol of excellence for organizations to showcase their validated commitment to quality and accountability. URAC’s evidence-based measures and standards are developed through inclusive engagement with a broad range of stakeholders committed to improving the quality of health care. For more information about URAC, contact us.

Pro-Change Behavior Systems, Inc. is the leading research and development company for computer and coaching based programs to change health risk behaviors. Based on the Transtheoretical Model developed by founder Dr. James O. Prochaska, Pro-Change programs are for entire populations and are uniquely tailored to each individual. These types of programs have produced unprecedented impacts on multiple behaviors to enhance health and reduce health care costs.  In 2009, Pro-Change’s LifeStyle Management Programs for Stress Management, Depression Prevention, Weight Management, Exercising Regularly, Smoking Cessation, and Medication Adherence won the URAC Gold Award for Best Practices in Health Management. For more information about Pro-Change, please visit www.prochange.com.

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