Meditation health benefits have been difficult to document as efficacy studies have been 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. The purpose of our study was to develop an instrument to capture barriers to meditation, The Determinants of Meditation Practice Inventory (DMPI). DMPI was developed and tested following a five-step, mixed-methods approach which included literature review, qualitative interviews, content validation, reliability testing, and construct validation. Four distinct participant groups contributed to the study. Four meditation teachers participated in qualitative interviews. Five expert panelists conducted content validation. Ten non-meditators participated in the pilot test. For reliability testing and construct validation, 150 cancer family caregivers participated. Big Five Inventory (BFI) and Caregiver Reactions Assessment (CRA) were used to test convergent construct validity. DMPI’s three content domains are Perceptions and Misconceptions, Pragmatic Concerns, and Socio-Cultural Beliefs. Initially, 53 items were generated. Three reviews for relevance and clarity by an expert panel concluded with a 22-item survey. After pilot testing, a 17-item version was created. Data from 150 caregivers showed a Cronbach’s coefficient alpha of 0.87. The intraclass correlation for baseline and retest was 0.86 (C.I. 0.82-0.90). BFI and CRA were significantly and positively correlated with DMPI. Results to date indicate use of DMPI will enable intervention researchers to address barriers to meditation, thereby maximizing recruitment, minimizing attrition, and optimizing interpretation of results.

Anna-Leila Williams

Yale University