Development of Measures of Perceived Neighborhood Environmental Attributes Influencing, and Perceived Barriers to Engagement in, Healthy Behaviors for Older Chinese Immigrants to Australia

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 Apr 24;18(9):4531. doi: 10.3390/ijerph18094531.


Environmental correlates, barriers, and facilitators of physical activity, healthy eating, and socializing are understudied in older immigrants to developed countries. This study developed/adapted and validated measures of perceived barriers and neighborhood environmental characteristics related to these health-enhancing behaviors appropriate for older Chinese immigrants to Australia and similar Western countries. Older Chinese immigrants living in Melbourne (Australia) were recruited from neighborhoods varying in walkability and percentage of Chinese residents. Versions of the Neighborhood Environment for Healthy Aging-Chinese Immigrants to Australia (NEHA-CIA) questionnaire (20 subscales) and the Perceived Barriers to Health-Enhancing Behaviors questionnaire (four subscales) were developed from extant validated scales and information collected in formative qualitative research. Thirty-one participants took part in cognitive interviews aimed to pilot-test and refine the questionnaires. The modified questionnaires were administered to 52 participants twice, two weeks apart. Test-retest reliability (intraclass correlation coefficients), internal consistency (Cronbach's α), and construct validity (associations with theoretically-relevant constructs) were examined. Most items and subscales of both questionnaires had good test-retest reliability and internal consistency, while the NEHA-CIA also showed good construct validity. Future studies need to further examine the construct validity of the questionnaire of perceived barriers and determine the factorial validity of both measures on large representative samples.

Keywords: Australia; aging; food environment; immigrants; neighborhood; socializing; walkability.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Australia
  • China
  • Emigrants and Immigrants*
  • Health Behavior*
  • Humans
  • Psychometrics
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Surveys and Questionnaires