Motivators and barriers of healthy lifestyle behaviors: Revision and refinement

Date of Completion

January 2006


Black Studies|Health Sciences, Nursing




Diseases such as diabetes that are attributed to poor lifestyle habits disproportionately affect Blacks (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive Kidney Diseases, 2005). 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 overall goals of Healthy People 2010, to eliminate the disparity of diseases and to increase longevity (USDHHS, 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 adult Black individuals. The MBHLSS was revised from 14 items to 20 items on a Likert scale, with 10 positive statements in the motivators dimension and 10 negative statements in the barriers dimension. Face and content validity of the 20 item MBHLSS were supported in focus group sessions. Based on the 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. Confirmatory factor analysis supported the construct validity of the hypothesized 2-factor model. Two items 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 (n = 27) of participants who completed a second 21-item MBHLSS at least two weeks after the first, Motivators (r = .62, p < .01) and Barriers (r = .61, p < .01). The 19-item MBHLSS is a culturally relevant measure that holds promise for 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 such as type 2 diabetes attributed to lifestyle habits. ^