Recommendations to Improve the Accuracy of Estimates of Physical Activity Derived From Self Report

Program in Exercise and Wellness, School of Nutrition and Health Promotion, Arizona State University, Phoenix, AZ, USA.
Journal of Physical Activity and Health (Impact Factor: 1.95). 01/2012; 9 Suppl 1(Suppl 1):S76-84.
Source: PubMed


Assessment of physical activity using self-report has the potential for measurement error that can lead to incorrect inferences about physical activity behaviors and bias study results.
To provide recommendations to improve the accuracy of physical activity derived from self report.
We provide an overview of presentations and a compilation of perspectives shared by the authors of this paper and workgroup members.
We identified a conceptual framework for reducing errors using physical activity self-report questionnaires. The framework identifies 6 steps to reduce error: 1) identifying the need to measure physical activity, 2) selecting an instrument, 3) collecting data, 4) analyzing data, 5) developing a summary score, and 6) interpreting data. Underlying the first 4 steps are behavioral parameters of type, intensity, frequency, and duration of physical activities performed, activity domains, and the location where activities are performed. We identified ways to reduce measurement error at each step and made recommendations for practitioners, researchers, and organizational units to reduce error in questionnaire assessment of physical activity.
Self-report measures of physical activity have a prominent role in research and practice settings. Measurement error may be reduced by applying the framework discussed in this paper.

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    • "These levels of exercise participation suggest that respondents might have personal experience with the potential benefits of exercise. A possible reason for the lack of a significant relationship between self-reported physical activity participation and frequency of exercise prescription in the present study is the potential overreporting of physical activity due to misclassification of activities by respondents, or a social desirability bias (Ainsworth et al. 2012; Dyrstad et al. 2014 "
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    ABSTRACT: Nurses working in mental health are well positioned to prescribe exercise to people with mental illness. However, little is known regarding their exercise-prescription practices. We examined the self-reported physical activity and exercise-prescription practices of nurses working in inpatient mental health facilities. Thirty-four nurses completed the Exercise in Mental Illness Questionnaire – Health Practitioner Version. Non-parametric bivariate statistics revealed no relationship between nurses' self-reported physical activity participation and the frequency of exercise prescription for people with mental illness. Exercise-prescription parameters used by nurses are consistent with those recommended for both the general population and for people with mental illness. A substantial number of barriers to effective exercise prescription, including lack of training, systemic issues (such as prioritization and lack of time), and lack of consumer motivation, impact on the prescription of exercise for people with mental illness. Addressing the barriers to exercise prescription could improve the proportion of nurses who routinely prescribe exercise. Collaboration with exercise professionals, such as accredited exercise physiologists or physiotherapists, might improve knowledge of evidence-based exercise-prescription practices for people with mental illness, thereby improving both physical and mental health outcomes for this vulnerable population.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2015 · International journal of mental health nursing
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    • "GPAQ) to assess PA. It may be that respondents are simply better able to report leisure time PA [43]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background: This difference in how populations living in low-, middle or upper-income countries accumulate daily PA, i.e. patterns and intensity, is an important part in addressing the global PA movement. We sought to characterize objective PA in 2,500 participants spanning the epidemiologic transition. The Modeling the Epidemiologic Transition Study (METS) is a longitudinal study, in 5 countries. METS seeks to define the association between physical activity (PA), obesity and CVD risk in populations of African origin: Ghana (GH), South Africa (SA), Seychelles (SEY), Jamaica (JA) and the US (suburban Chicago). Methods: Baseline measurements of objective PA, SES, anthropometrics and body composition, were completed on 2,500 men and women, aged 25-45 years. Moderate and vigorous PA (MVPA, min/d) on week and weekend days was explored ecologically, by adiposity status and manual labor. Results: Among the men, obesity prevalence reflected the level of economic transition and was lowest in GH (1.7%) and SA (4.8%) and highest in the US (41%). SA (55%) and US (65%) women had the highest levels of obesity, compared to only 16% in GH. More men and women in developing countries engaged in manual labor and this was reflected by an almost doubling of measured MPVA among the men in GH (45 min/d) and SA (47 min/d) compared to only 28 min/d in the US. Women in GH (25 min/d), SA (21 min/d), JA (20 min/d) and SEY (20 min/d) accumulated significantly more MPVA than women in the US (14 min/d), yet this difference was not reflected by differences in BMI between SA, JA, SEY and US. Moderate PA constituted the bulk of the PA, with no study populations except SA men accumulating > 5 min/d of vigorous PA. Among the women, no sites accumulated >2 min/d of vigorous PA. Overweight/obese men were 22% less likely to engage in manual occupations. Conclusion: While there is some association for PA with obesity, this relationship is inconsistent across the epidemiologic transition and suggests that PA policy recommendations should be tailored for each environment.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2014 · BMC Public Health
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    • "Furthermore, the therapist could inquire about other circumstances that might explain the increased symptoms on those days. This recorded information represents an improvement over patient recall, which is often inaccurate [30]. While the same information could be entered into an exercise diary, using the iPod device may relieve the patient of the burden of remembering to log the information. "
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    ABSTRACT: In the physical therapy setting, physical therapists (PTs) often prescribe exercises for their clients to perform at home. However, it is difficult for PTs to obtain information about their clients' compliance with the prescribed exercises, the quality of performance and symptom magnitude. We present an iPod-based system for capturing this information from individuals with vestibular hypofunction while they perform gaze stabilization exercises at home. The system's accuracy for measurement of rotational velocity against an independent motion tracker was validated. Then a seven day in-home trial was conducted with 10 individuals to assess the feasibility of implementing the system. Compliance was measured by comparing the recorded frequency and duration of the exercises with the exercise prescription. The velocity and range of motion of head movements was recorded in the pitch and yaw planes. The system also recorded dizziness severity before and after each exercise was performed. Each patient was interviewed briefly after the trial to ascertain ease of use. In addition, an interview was performed with PTs in order to assess how the information would be utilized. The correlation of the velocity measurements between the iPod-based system and the motion tracker was 0.99. Half of the subjects were under-compliant with the prescribed exercises. The average head velocity during performance was 140 deg/s in the yaw plane and 101 deg/s in the pitch plane. The iPod-based system was able to be used in-home. Interviews with PTs suggest that the quantitative data from the system will be valuable for assisting PTs in understanding exercise performance of patients, documenting progress, making treatment decisions, and communicating patient status to other PTs.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2014 · Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation
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