Test-retest reliability of adolescents' self- reported physical activity item in two consecutive surveys
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ViittausNg, Kwok. Hämylä, Riikka. Tynjälä, Jorma. Villberg, Jari. Tammelin, Tuija. Kannas, Lasse. Kokko, Sami. (2019). Test-retest reliability of adolescents' self- reported physical activity item in two consecutive surveys. Archives of public health, 77, 9. 10.1186/s13690-019-0335-3.
National monitoring of school-aged physical activity (PA) behaviours is necessary to inform policy makers. The Finnish School-aged Physical Activity (FSPA – LIITU in Finnish) is a physical activity monitoring study, collecting data from young adolescents aged 11 to 15 years through a nationally representative sample. This study included a single self-reported item question on moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity (MVPA) from the preceding seven days. The question is used widely in the WHO Collaborative Cross-National Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) study as a measure of meeting international PA recommendations. This study evaluated the test-retest reliability of the aforementioned MVPA item in two consecutive surveys while observing gender and age categorisation differences.
In this study, Finnish adolescents with mean ages of 11.5y, 13.5y and 15.5y (n = 2752) completed the HBSC and FSPA surveys in two 45 min class periods without a break in 2014. The HBSC survey completion mode was through pen and paper, and the FSPA study through a web-based questionnaire. The same MVPA question appeared in both surveys. Response alternatives (0–7 days per week) were grouped into four, and two categories in the analyses. Cohen’s Kappa and ICC statistics were performed to test the intra-rater test-retest reliability of the measure.
According to Cohen’s Kappa, there was moderate agreement through the use of four (0.503) and two (0.599) categories, however, the proportion of adolescents that met the recommended daily 60 min of MVPA was 8% lower in the FSPA study than in the HBSC study (19% vs 27%). In addition, ICC for MVPA, as continuous variable (0–7 days) had good to excellent reliability (range 0.694–0.765) for boys and girls aged 13 to 15 years, but only fair (0.565) for boys aged 11.
This study demonstrated that single item MVPA item was considered to have acceptable reliability of the measure for monitoring purposes of 13- and 15-year old boys, and 11y-, 13- and 15y-old girls meeting the international PA recommendations. There were differences in the prevalence in daily MVPA due to survey design.