That should do it. If you are applying these changes as local overrides to a paragraph style (in which case, the name of the paragraph style will have a + beside it), you have to be sure that all the text you want to change is selected when you make the change. A good workflow is to create a paragraph style for your list and not use local overrides, so you can see in the paragraph style list (by virtue of the presence or absence of the + sign) whether local overrides are a contributing factor. Holding the Option key (on Mac OS) while selecting a paragraph style will remove local overrides, and you can also remove them from the fly-out triangle on the styles window. Keep in mind that character styles applied over paragraph styles are not considered local overrides, with respect to the + sign, so you'll have to keep an eye on the character styles pallet a bit also.
In what way are the words "broken"? If switching off hyphenation "does not work" (which is a bad way of describing a problem), someone might have broken the words manually -- i.e. by inserting discretionary hyphens, or regular hyphens, or a regular hyphen plus a hard return. If that's the case, there is nothing InDesign can do for you.
Post a picture showing one of these paragraphs; make sure you have switched "Show Hidden Characters" on because otherwise we won't be able to see *anything* of interest.