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Behavior Plan

By max292ind May 06, 2013 1594 Words
Behavior Plan
Max Holmes
HUMS 205-Behavior Change Plan

I have chosen to change a behavior in my cousin Steve W. Steve is a 45 year old male. He has many different behaviors which he would like to change, but quitting smoking is the behavior he wants to change the most. He smokes a little less than a pack of cigarettes a day, stating that he averages about 18-20 cigarettes each day. Steve also seems depressed, has a very low level of activity, and does not have as close of a relationship with his daughter (Alexis) as he would like. For this project I have decide to focus on his smoking. He has smoked for over 17 years and it is obviously very harmful to his health and affects almost every aspect of his life. Smoking affects his health dramatically. It also affects ability to exercise and affects his relationship with his 15 year old daughter (Alexis), as she cannot stand the smell of cigarettes and it makes her very sad that her father is hurting himself and shortening his life by smoking cigarettes. Alexis even told me that she feels like Steve cares more about smoking than he cares about her. Alexis has said she doesn’t like to be around Steve when he smells like cigarette smoke and that she is embarrassed when he goes around her friends and smells like cigarette smoke. Last year Steve had a mild heart attack and his doctors told him that he needs to quit smoking or the next heart attack could be even worse or possibly fatal. I have decided to focus on getting him to reduce the amount of cigarettes he smokes each day and to eventually quit smoking. Steve has claimed to have tried to quit smoking in the past, but has never had any luck. He has never tried using a regimented plan to quit smoking but made multiple attempts to quit on his own. It seems that his inability to quit smoking, or even reduce the number of cigarettes he smokes causes him to feel even more depressed than he did before his attempts to quit smoking. These failed attempts also seem to affect his self-esteem and his perception of himself. Steve does say he has a strong desire to quit smoking and he realizes it is adversely affecting his health. He also would like to quit smoking in order to spend more time with his daughter and make her proud of him instead of being embarrassed about the fact that he smells like cigarette smoke. He also realizes that it breaks her heart and makes her very sad to know he is shortening his life by smoking. Target Behavior: Steve will reduce the number of cigarettes he smokes and eventually quit smoking entirely. We have made a plan of gradually reducing his tobacco use over a period of time which will cover 13 weeks. Each week he will smoke one less cigarette a day which is 7 less cigarettes per week. Data Recording: The data recording method I will use is documenting the total number of cigarettes Steve smokes each week. We will try and reduce the number of cigarettes he smokes each week by at least one pack. Each Sunday Steve and I will to the store and buy the number of cigarettes he will be allowed to smoke each week. This number of cigarettes will be one pack less every week. We started buying the cigarettes together on Sunday, February the 17th. We bought 5 packs of cigarettes and this was based on the fact that Steve smoked 10 packs of cigarettes over the course of the previous week and 10 packs of cigarettes was the average of cigarettes he has been smoking for the past year and a half. He agreed that he would start the program by cutting the total amount of cigarettes he smoked each day in half at the beginning of the program. At the beginning of the program Steve and I went to the store and bought all of the cigarettes which he will be allowed to smoke over the course of the following 13 weeks. I divided the cigarettes up into the particular amounts he will be allowed to have each week and I give him that amount of cigarettes on each given Sunday after I see him at church.

Initial Baseline (February 17th, 2013): Steve smoked a little less than 7 packs of cigarettes a week on average. This is an average of about 18-20 cigarettes each day.

When I began this behavior plan project I interviewed Steve about his smoking habits and what situations or stressors were triggers which caused him to want to smoke. He told me his smoking was just a part of his daily routine. He smokes 2 or 3 cigarettes the very first thing in the morning. He smokes a cigarette after eating breakfast. He also said he smokes a cigarette or 2 during his ride to work and then smokes 2 cigarettes during each of his breaks at work. He smokes a cigarette or two on his ride back home from work. In the evenings he usually goes and meets with some friends at a local bar. Almost all of his friends are smokers and they all smoke together at the bar as they have a few drinks and talk. He also stated that he smokes a cigarette at times when he felt nervous or stressed. He says he finds his work rather stressful and feels like he smokes more due to the stress from his job.

Steve has shown a genuine desire to quit smoking and says he wants to spend more time with his daughter, Alexis. Alexis has agreed to start spending the weekends with her dad( Steve), as long as he sticks with this 13 week behavior plan and agrees to quit smoking in the 13 weeks. Steve knows and understands that smoking is hurting both his health and his relationship with his daughter. He seems to genuine want to spend more time with his daughter so I feel that he does not need other reinforcers. He agrees that the reinforcers of better health and being able to spend more time with Alexis are enough motivation to get him to stick with this plan. Steve agreed to keep a record of how many cigarettes he smokes each week and has promised not buy any other cigarettes than the ones we buy for this program. Steve has also agreed to sit down for a weekly meeting between myself, him and Alexis to discuss his weekly progress and tell how he feels. This has also given us the opportunity to praise him for his successes.

The plan which I drew up for Steve to quit smoking is as follows:

Week Dates # of cigarettes allowed week 1||February 17-23|||91 cigarettes|
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week 2||February 24-March 2|||84 cigarettes|
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week 3||March 3-9|||77 cigarettes|
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week 4||March 10-16|||70 cigarettes|
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week 5||March 17-23|||63 cigarettes|
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week 6||March 24-30|||56 cigarettes|
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week 7||March 31-April 6|||49 cigarettes|
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week 8||April 7-13||||42 cigarettes|
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week 9||April 14-20|||35 cigarettes|
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week 10||April 21-27|||28 cigarettes|
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week 11||April 28-May 4|||21 cigarettes|
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week 12||May 5-May 11|||14 cigarettes|
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week 13||May 12-18|||7 cigarettes|

I have done research and found that it makes it easier to quit smoking if a person finds other activities to take the place of the smoking. Steve bought one of the largest packs of sugar-free gum which they sell at Sam’s Club and has agreed to chew a piece of gum each time he feels anxious, stressed, or desires a cigarette. He has also agreed to start taking a walk every morning in place of his usually 2 or 3 cigarettes he normally smokes. He has also agreed to start doing other activities in the evenings after work instead of going to the local bar and drinking and smoking with his friends. He says he realizes that he has to change his habits and routine in order to make major life style changes and quit smoking.

Second Baseline: I recorded the second baseline after 5 weeks of the behavior plan and Steve is currently smoking 9 cigarettes a day. This added up to the 63 cigarettes he was allowed for the week of May 17-24.

Conclusion: Steve has been doing a great job of sticking with his behavior plan and has only smoked his allotted number of cigarettes each week. He has done a good job of going for a walk each morning and reports that he really enjoys spending more time with his daughter. He says he can tell that he is starting to feel better with the decrease in smoking and the extra exercise. Steve has been chewing a lot of gum to replace the oral desire for having a cigarette in his mouth. He says that the health benefits and time with his daughter are all the reinforcers he needs to stick with this behavior plan for the remaining 9 weeks, from now until May 18th. We have been having a weekly meeting between Steve , Alexis and myself every Sunday after church to discuss his progress and give him praise for his successes. Every Sunday Alexis tells Steve she is proud of him for making the changes he is making and for agreeing to this plan.

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