PhD Graduates – Downes

Loureen Downes, PhD
Spring, 2006

“Motivator and Barriers of Health Lifestyle Behaviors: Revision and Refinement”

Diseases such as diabetes that are attributed to poor lifestyle habits disproportionately affect Blacks (U.S. Department of Health Human Services [USDHSS], 2002). There is a gap in the literature of culturally relevant measures to evaluate factors related to lifestyle behaviors of Blacks. Clinicians need to provide culturally relevant counseling to promote the practice of healthy dietary and physical activity habits to fulfill the primary objectives of Healthy people 2010, to decrease the disparity of diseases and increase longevity (USDHSS, 2000). The primary aim of this study was to revise, refine, and retest the Motivators and Barriers of Healthy Lifestyle Behaviors Screening Scale (MBHLSS) as a culturally relevant measure to assess factors that motivate and inhibit the practice of healthy lifestyle behaviors of Black individuals. Healthy lifestyle was defined as engagement in recommended dietary and physical activity habits based on guidelines from the United States Department of Health and Human Services and United States Department of Agriculture (2000) recently revised in 2005. The MBHLSS was revised from 14 items to 20 items on a Likert scale, with 10 positive statements in the motivators dimension and 1 0 negative statements in the barriers dimension. Face and content validity of the 20 item MBHLSS were supported in focus group sessions. Based on results of the focus groups one item was added to the barriers dimension creating a 21- item MBHLSS. The 21-item MBHLSS was administered to 209 community dwelling Black individuals, 27 cases had missing responses and were not utilized, therefore, only 182 cases were used to examine construct validity and reliability. Confirmatory factor analysis supported the construct validity of the hypothesized 2-factor model. Two items, #10 and #21 were deleted due to low factor loadings. Subsequently, the 21-item MBHLSS was revised to 19 items. The data obtained from the 19 item MBHLSS revealed adequate reliability of the two subscales, motivators and barriers .81 and .88 respectively. Test re-test reliability of the motivators and barriers subscales were adequate in a small subsample of participants who completed a second 21-item MBHLSS at least two weeks after the first (r .62, p <.01 and r= .6I,p <.01) respectively. The 19-item MBHLSS demonstrates adequate construct validity, reliability and provides a culturally relevant measurement to assess factors that motivate or inhibit the practice of healthy lifestyle behaviors in Black individuals. The 19-item MBHLSS is a culturally relevant measure that holds promise for future use by healthcare practitioners to provide individualized counseling to Black individuals to promote the practice of healthy lifestyle behaviors potentially resulting in lower morbidity and mortality of chronic diseases attributed to lifestyle habits.

Pictured above (from left to right):
Dr. Deborah Shelton, Dr. Anne Bavier, Dr. Loureen Downes, Dr. Deborah McDonald