A Lexicon for Measuring Maintenance of Behavior Change

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Objectives : To establish a workgroup within the NIH-funded Health Maintenance Consortium (HMC) to examine how maintenance of behavior change was conceptualized and measured across and within behaviors.

Methods : Multiple meetings were held by the workgroup to reach consensus definitions of maintenance and maintenance-related constructs across diet/nutrition, tobacco, substance abuse, and physical activity. Once consensus was reached, a survey assessed how maintenance was operationalized across 16 HMC intervention studies.

Results : Seventy-five percent of 16 studies assessed are using a criterion to assess maintenance and are tracking maintenance as a continuous measure. Eighty-one percent are assessing facilitators and barriers, and conceptualizing maintenance as both an intermediate and primary outcome measure. All 16 studies are assessing maintenance at the individual level with fewer at the organizational (N 3), environmental (N 3), and policy levels (N 1).

Conclusions : This survey found similarities and differences in measurement across behaviors that have important implications for advancing the quality of transbehavioral research.

Keywords: long-term maintenance; measurement; multiple behavior change

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5993/AJHB.34.6.3

Affiliations: 1 Center for Research on Health and Aging, Institute for Health Research and Policy, University of Illinois Chicago, Chicago, IL.

Publication date: November 1, 2010

More about this publication?
  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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