J Med Assoc Thai 2013; 96 (12):153

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Development of Natural Helper Characteristic Scale (NHCS): An Instrument for Identifying Natural Helpers for Health Area in Thai Context
Neelapaichit N Mail, Tanasugarn C , Wattanasomboon P , Chansatitporn N

Background: Volunteerism in health through cadres of village health volunteers (VHV) has been common since the “health for all” campaign. At present, with political support, the VHV receives monthly financial support, and this creates a conflict of interest and competition among the VHV groups. Therefore, a tool to identify the VHV who has natural helper characteristics, a voluntary mind set and a readiness to help is needed.
Objective: The purpose of the present study was to develop and test the quality of the natural helper characteristic scale (NHCS).
Material and Method: The present study used a multi-methods design to identify natural helper characteristic constructs in the Thai public health context by interviewing community leaders and public health professionals who have experience in working with natural helpers successfully. Suggested constructs have been validated with key informants using telephone interview to confirm the common constructs before reconfirmation with factor analysis and reliability statistical test.
Results: Qualitative data indicated 3 constructs is commonly found and statistically tested by exploratory factor analysis revealed a 30-item with a five-factor solution (altruism, role recognition, openness to new experiences, family readiness, and social acceptance) that accounted for 62.24% of the variance. The finding of confirmatory factor analysis indicated that the 5-factor model with 24 items demonstrated acceptable fit indicated a good fit to the data (χ2 = 439.91; df = 217 (p<0.001); χ2/df = 2.02; RMSEA = 0.05; GFI = 0.90; and, CFI = 0.96). Cronbach’s alpha coefficients of the total scale’s Cronbach’s alpha was 0.94.
Conclusion: The NHCS demonstrated evidence of the content and construct validity, and adequate internal consistency reliability. The NHCS can be used for identifying natural helpers in working for the health programs.

Keywords: Characteristics of natural helper, Development and testing, Health area

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