It is all too common to evaluate the effect of health programs, prevention programs and cessation programs by their end result. If people aren’t cured or haven’t stopped their addictive behavior, the program isn’t doing its job.
There is not just one step that people take in the process of changing their behavior, their health, their thinking, or their emotions. People go through a process of change in which there are different steps, different stages. Therefore, it does not do justice to how a program or an idea works if we simply measure its overall effect or its long-term solution of the problem.
For example, you don’t want to look at just whether the person has been able to lose a significant amount of weight and keep that amount of weight off. It’s a more accurate measure of how the weight-loss program or dieting idea is working if you use such indices as:
- what has been changed
- what’s left to change
- what number of changes were made
- what are the lasting changes
- what percentage of people are at each step or stage of change
- what percentage of people have moved up or down each step or stage
This should help you to see that the proof of the pudding is not always in the eating. Thank goodness.