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Third-party-funded project

Motivating Health Behaviour in Inpatient Rehabilitation

Project management at the University of Würzburg:

Participating scientists:



For patients suffering from chronic diseases health behaviours are crucial to the progression of the disease. The patients’ motivation to get engaged in those behaviours and to put them into practice in the long run varies greatly between patients. The Transtheoretical Model of Behavioural Change (Prochaska & DiClemente, 1983, 1992) describes the motivation to change as a process with distinct stages and constitutes the theoretical basis of the study.


The aim of the project is to examine possibilities to enhance the motivation for three different health behaviours (physical activity, healthy diet, relaxation exercises). This includes the assessment of the extent of motivation as well as to identify predictors of the motivational stages. Moreover, the motivational effects of the new patient education “Aktiv Gesundheit fördern” (VDR, 2000) are evaluated in comparison to standard health education as offered by the hospitals. Additionally, the generalisation of effects for different indications (coronary artery disease, diabetes mellitus, chronic low back pain) and different settings (hospitals) are investigated.


The study follows a multi-centre, randomised controlled design, aiming at a total sample of 1215 patients in three rehabilitation hospitals. The longitudinal design comprises data collection at four points of measurement (beginning and end of rehabilitation, follow-ups after 3 and 12 months).

Key words:
    health behaviour
    health education
    inpatient rehabilitation
    transtheoretical model

Projekt period: from 03.2002 to 12.2004

Funding institution:
Bund ( DLR - Projektträger des BMBF ) ,Granting date: 11.03.2002