Overview Of The URICA

The URICA is just one way to measure the stages of change.  For instance, another way to measure stages is with algorithms.

Originally, the URICA was envisioned to measure five stages of change: Precontemplation, Contemplation, Determination, Action, and Maintenance.  However, after the measure was examined, the questions did not load onto one of the factors: determination. So, now the URICA measures Precontemplation, Contemplation, Action, and Maintenance.

It is also important to note that on the URICA, the Maintenance stage is actually measured as “Struggling to Maintain,” meaning individuals who endorse these items are having trouble maintaining the behavior change.

Some versions of the URICA direct the respondent to answer in terms of a “problem” while other versions indicate a specific behavior, such as drinking.  The URICA should be used in such a way that it is clear to both the respondent and the assessor what behavior the client is being staged on. Knowing the behavior helps separate out where the individual is in terms of stages. If an individual quits and the URICA suggests they are in precontemplation or have low readiness for change, they are not in denial but are instead free of the problem. It is vital to consider behavior when interpreting the URICA.

Alcohol Version

The original alcohol version of the URICA consisted of 32 items.  However, four of these items did not load well so only 28 items are actually used for scoring.

There are also two 12-item versions that, when put together, create a 24-item version.  These 12-item versions, Forms A and B, can be utilized for repeated measuring, such as at the beginning and end of a study.  Structural Equation Modeling was used to assess the structures of these two forms, and both were found to have the same structure.

Drug Version

Much like the alcohol version, the Drug version of the URICA consists of 32 items but only 28 items are used for scoring. Also like the alcohol version, there is a shorter version of the Drug URICA, consisting of 24 items.

Reduced Drinking—DELTA Project

The Reduced Drinking Version of the URICA was created for the DELTA Project, a study examining interventions with individuals who were admitted to shock trauma with alcohol related problems.  This 12 item version is used to assess readiness for reduced drinking, not abstinence from alcohol.


This version of the URICA offers a broader instruction set in which the respondent answers in terms of the “problem” that has led them to seek treatment.  This version has 32 items.  It is particularly important with this version that both the respondent and administrator are specific about what the “problem” is so readiness for changing that behavior can be understood.

Domestic Violence

The Domestic Violence version of the URICA has been copyrighted by Pro-Change and is not in the public domain.  It can be accessed by going to www.prochange.com

Development and Validation information can be found in:

Levesque, D.A., Gelles, R.J., & Velicer, W.F. (2000).  Development and validation of a stages of change measure for men in batterer treatment.  Cognitive Therapy and Research, 24(2), 175-199.


URICA Scoring Information

URICA Reliability Information



  • General
    • DiClemente, C.C., Schlundt, D., & Gemmell, L. (2004). Readiness and stages of change in addiction treatment. American Journal on Addictions, 13(2), 103-119.
    • DiClemente, C.C. (2005). Conceptual models and applied research: The ongoing contribution of the Transtheoretical Model. Journal of Addictions Nursing, 16(1&2), 5-12.
  • Alcohol
    • DiClemente, C.C., and Hughes, S.O. (1990). Stages of Change Profiles in Outpatient Alcoholism Treatment. Journal of Substance Abuse, 2, 217-235.
  • Drug
  • Reduced Drinking
    • Soderstrom, C.A., DiClemente, C.C., Dischinger, P.C., Hebel, J.R., McDuff, D.R., Auman, K.M., Kufera, J.A. (2007). A Controlled Trial of Brief Intervention Versus Brief Advice for At-Risk Drinking Trauma Center Patients. Journal of Trauma-Injury Infection & Critical Care, 62(5), 1102-1112.
  • Psychotherapy
    • McConnaughy, E. A., DiClemente, C. C., Prochaska, J. O., & Velicer, W. F. (1989). Stages of change in psychotherapy: A follow-up report. Psychotherapy, 26(4), 494-503.
    • McConnaughy, E. A., Prochaska, J. O., & Velicer, W. F. (1983). Stages of change in psychotherapy: Measurement and sample profiles.  Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, and Practice, 20, 368-375