Validation of a historical physical activity questionnaire in middle-aged women

Department of Exercise & Sport Science, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC 27858, USA.
Journal of physical activity & health (Impact Factor: 1.95). 07/2007; 4(3):343-55.
Source: PubMed


Historical physical activity (PA) questionnaires assess relationships between past PA and chronic diseases. The 4-Corner's Historical Physical Activity Questionnaire (HPAQ) was validated in 78 middle-age women.
In 1996 and 1998, women kept PA records (PAR) for four consecutive days while wearing Caltrac accelerometers. In 2001, the same women recalled their past PA levels using the HPAQ. PA levels from the HPAQ were compared to PARs and the Caltrac. Race-adjusted Spearman correlations determined validity.
Low to modest correlations existed between PA (min/wk and MET-min/wk) from the HPAQ and PARs for moderate (r = 0.16 and 0.14, respectively), vigorous PA (r = 0.26 and 0.27, respectively; P < 0.05) and moderate-vigorous PA (r = 0.20 and 0.17, respectively). Moderate and moderate-vigorous, but not vigorous PA was positively related to energy expenditure expressed as kilocalories (r = 0.23, P < 0.05 and 0.22, -0.03, respectively) or PA volume (MET-min/wk) (r = 0.29, 0.29, P < 0.05 and 0.10, respectively).
The HPAQ can produce valid estimates of women's past moderate and vigorous PA levels.

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    • "Very few historical PA questionnaires have been validated against objective measurements of PA. One study confirmed modest validity (r = 0.29) of a questionnaire measuring PA up to 5 years ago when compared with uniaxial accelerometer measurements from the same time [12]. The validity of historical PA questionnaires against repeated objective measures of PAEE has not previously been determined. "
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    ABSTRACT: Lifetime physical activity energy expenditure (PAEE) is an important determinant of risk for many chronic diseases but remains challenging to measure. Previously reported historical physical activity (PA) questionnaires appear to be reliable, but their validity is less well established. We sought to design and validate an historical adulthood PA questionnaire (HAPAQ) against objective PA measurements from the same individuals. We recruited from a population-based cohort in Cambridgeshire, UK, (Medical Research Council Ely Study) in whom PA measurements, using individually calibrated heart rate monitoring, had been obtained in the past, once between 1994 and 1996 and once between 2000 and 2002. 100 individuals from this cohort attended for interview. Historical PA within the domains of home, work, transport, sport and exercise was recalled using the questionnaire by asking closed questions repeated for several discrete time periods from the age of 20 years old to their current age. The average PAEE from the 2 periods of objective measurements was compared to the self-reported data from the corresponding time periods in the questionnaire. Significant correlations were observed between HAPAQ-derived and objectively measured total PAEE for both time periods (Spearman r = 0.44; P < 0.001). Similarly, self-reported time spent in vigorous PA was significantly correlated with objective measurements of vigorous PA (Spearman r = 0.40; P < 0.001). HAPAQ demonstrates convergent validity for total PAEE and vigorous PA. This instrument will be useful for ranking individuals according to their past PA in studies of chronic disease aetiology, where activity may be an important underlying factor contributing to disease pathogenesis.
    International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 06/2010; 7(1):54. DOI:10.1186/1479-5868-7-54 · 4.11 Impact Factor
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    • "Our results support that reliability coefficients were generally higher than validity coefficients , since diaries are not the perfect 'gold standard' for the measurement of PA (Vanhees et al. 2005). Despite this, other studies have used other PA subjective instruments as a reference for validation of questionnaires (Arroll et al. 1991; Suleiman and Nelson 1997; Friedenreich et al. 2006; DuBose et al. 2007; Orsini et al. 2008). The fact that both methods have independent errors minimize the possibility of seriously high estimates of validity (Gibson 2005, pp. "
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    ABSTRACT: No self-report method to measure different types and intensities of physical activity (PA) in adults has been tested in the Portuguese population. We assessed the validity, reproducibility and seasonal bias on past-year PA reporting. A sample of 953 Portuguese adults was evaluated between 2001 and 2003. A 4 x 7-day PA diary was used as a reference method to evaluate the validity of the EPIC questionnaire adapted for the Portuguese population (n = 114). Spearman's correlation coefficients were calculated and agreement was tested using Bland-Altman plots. Trigonometric linear models were used to assess the seasonal variation. Correlations between the questionnaire and the diaries were 0.56, 0.50, 0.88 and 0.78 for total, rest, occupational and leisure-time PA, respectively. The coefficients for reproducibility (2-3 months interval) ranged between 0.80 for leisure and 0.91 for occupational. Visualizing Bland-Altman plots, only rest PA revealed a tendency towards an increase in differences with increasing rest reported. Males interviewed in April and August reported the highest and lowest mean of leisure-time PA, respectively. For professional activities, the probability of amplitude being over one-half standard deviation was 33%. The questionnaire is a valid and reproducible instrument for the brief assessment of usual energy expenditure in adults, detailing different types of PA. In males, seasonal bias on reporting leisure-time and professional PA was found.
    Annals of Human Biology 12/2009; 37(2):185-97. DOI:10.3109/03014460903341836 · 1.27 Impact Factor
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    • "In our cohort of postmenopausal women, we were able to examine the relation of physical activity intensity across the lifespan to postmenopausal breast cancer risk, but we relied upon recall of physical activity during time periods in the distant past. Prior studies have shown reasonably strong correlations between physical activity recalled from 3-5 years [46] and 15 years [47] in the past with physical activity measured objectively at that time, although the validity of physical activity over longer periods of recall is not known. Our observation that physical activity was positively correlated across proximate age periods suggests that our ability to discriminate between certain age periods may have been limited. "
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    ABSTRACT: Despite strong evidence of an inverse association of physical activity with postmenopausal breast cancer risk, whether a certain intensity or time of life of physical activity is most effective for lowering breast cancer risk is not known. In 118,899 postmenopausal women in the prospective NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study, we examined the relations of light and moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity during four periods of life ("historical": ages 15-18, 19-29, 35-39 years; "recent": past 10 years) to postmenopausal breast cancer risk. Physical activity was assessed by self-report at baseline, and 4287 incident breast cancers were identified over 6.6 years of follow-up. In age-adjusted and multivariate Cox regression models, >7 hours/week of moderate-to-vigorous activity during the past 10 years was associated with 16% reduced risk of postmenopausal breast cancer (RR:0.84; 95%CI:0.76,0.93) compared with inactivity. The association remained statistically significant after adjustment for BMI (RR:0.87; 95%CI:0.78,0.96). Neither moderate-to-vigorous activity during other periods of life nor light intensity activity during any period of life was related to breast cancer risk, and associations did not vary by tumor characteristics. A high level of recent, but not historical, physical activity of moderate-to-vigorous intensity is associated with reduced postmenopausal breast cancer risk. More precise recall of recent physical activity than activity in the distant past is one possible explanation for our findings.
    BMC Cancer 10/2009; 9(1):349. DOI:10.1186/1471-2407-9-349 · 3.36 Impact Factor
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