Department of Public Health Sciences

Cognitive interviewing to develop a mental health services barrier assessment

Bernstein KS, Chen D, Bang H

Journal of Theory Construction & Testing. 2013. 17(1):4-10.

Research to determine the unique characteristics of barriers to using mental health services among Asian Americans has been limited because culturally sensitive instruments are lacking. We launched the project to develop and test an instrument that identifies barriers to utilization of mental health services among Asian Americans by initially targeting Korean Americans. This article presents how Cognitive Interviewing (CI) was used to strengthen content validity of the Mental Health Service Barrier Assessment (MHSBA) instrument for Korean Americans. CI was used to evaluate each of the 41-items of the MHSBA along with the instruction for completing the instrument. Nine participants who were receiving mental health services were recruited from the Korean community for CI. Their responses were evaluated by the researchers for each item's inclusion, exclusion, consolidation or revision which resulted in a 22-item version. CI can be used to determine generalizability of the items among other Asian American populations because it provides deep cultural understanding of the relevance and comprehension of health-care access.

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