Reliability of a brief intercept survey for trail use behaviors

Dept of Health & Kinesiology, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, USA.
Journal of physical activity & health (Impact Factor: 1.95). 11/2009; 6(6):775-80.
Source: PubMed


This study assessed test-retest reliability of an interviewer-administered trail survey.
An intercept survey was conducted with adults using 2 paved trails in Indiana and South Carolina (N = 295; mean age = 46.9 +/- 18 y). The survey included items on frequency and duration of trail use for recreation and transportation, other patterns of trail use, and sociodemographic characteristics. Fifty-five adults completed the survey twice (2-16 d apart; mean = 7.4 +/- 2.6 d). Test-retest reliability was assessed with Spearman rank correlation coefficients, Kappa coefficients, and percent agreement.
Kappa coefficients and percent agreement for 9 categorical items ranged from 0.65 to 0.96 and from 64.0% to 98.2%, respectively. Among these items, the lowest Kappas were found for perceived safety (0.65) and reported duration of visits for recreational purposes (0.67). Spearman rank correlation coefficients for travel distance to and on the trail and frequency of trail use during the past 7 days and past 4 weeks ranged from 0.62 to 0.93.
Though further assessments of this survey with different populations and types of trails may be warranted, its overall high reliability indicates it can be used by researchers and practitioners in its current form.

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    • "A study design with multiple ITC sensors on each trail may better detect if incremental distance signage affects patterns of trail use. Intercept surveys with trail users, such as the instrument developed by Troped et al. (2009), could also help clarify changes in PA behavior. This study has several limitations, including the non-random nature of the control trails. "
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