Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Barriers to meditation among cancer family caregivers
by Williams, Anna-leila, Ph.D., Yale University, 2010, 197; 3415349
Abstract (Summary)

Background: Meditation health benefits have been difficult to document as many efficacy studies are marred by lack of statistical power secondary to small sample size and/or threats to validity from high attrition. To date no published studies have examined barriers to meditation which are likely responsible for low enrollment and high attrition. Cancer family caregivers have demonstrated need in areas where meditation has purported efficacy.

Objectives: To develop and conduct initial psychometric testing of an instrument to capture barriers to meditation use. The Determinants of Meditation Practice Inventory (DMPI): To provide descriptive statistics, using DMPI, of the barriers to meditation practice among 150 cancer family caregivers; To ascertain associations among barriers to meditation and explanatory variables (demographic characteristics, personality trait, emotional distress, and perceived caregiver burden).

Design: DMP1 was developed and tested with a five-step, mixed-methods approach including literature review, qualitative interviews, content validation, reliability testing, and construct validation. Cancer family caregivers were surveyed cross-sectionally.

Results: DMPI's three content domains are Perceptions and Misconceptions, Pragmatic Concerns, and Socio-Cultural Beliefs. After content validation and pilot testing, a 17-item DMPI was created and used with 150 caregivers. DMPI Cronbach's coefficient alpha was 0.87. Intraclass correlation for baseline and retest was 0.86 (C.I. 0.82-0.90). Multiple linear regression showed three personality traits (Conscientiousness, Neuroticism, Openness to New Experiences (inversely)), and caregiver burden accounted for 32% of DMPI variability. Personality trait means of the caregiver sample differed by almost a full standard deviation from large general population samples.

Conclusion: Preliminary results indicate DMPI is psychometrically sound. It is possible caregivers high in particular personality traits self-select for the role either out of obligation or voluntarily. It is also possible the situational influence of assuming caregiver responsibilities modifies personality trait expression. By identifying barriers to meditation, DMPI will enable researchers to address the needs and concerns of the target population when designing recruitment and intervention procedures, potentially maximizing recruitment, minimizing attrition, and optimizing interpretation of results.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: McCorkle, Ruth
Commitee:
School: Yale University
School Location: United States -- Connecticut
Source: DAI-B 71/07, Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Medicine, Nursing
Keywords: Family caregivers, Meditation
Publication Number: 3415349
ISBN: 9781124091624
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