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Measuring change in adolescent physical activity: Responsiveness of a single item

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Self-report measures are frequently used to assess change in physical activity (PA) levels. Given the limited data from adolescent populations, the primary objective of this study was to examine the responsiveness of a single item measure (SIM) of PA for adolescents to detect change in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) using accelerometer data as the reference measure. A secondary objective was to provide further data on the validity of the measure at one point in time. The validity of the SIM to determine the number of days ≥60 minutes of MVPA was based on data from 200 participants (62% female; age: 14.0 ± 1.6 years) and analysis of change was based on data from 177 participants (65% female; age: 14.0 ± 1.6 years). Validity of change in days ≥60 minutes of MVPA was examined through agreement in classification of change between the SIM and accelerometry as the reference measurement and Spearman’s correlation. Cohen’s d and standardised response means were used to assess the responsiveness to change of the measure. The responsiveness of the SIM and accelerometer data were comparable and modest (0.27–0.38). The correlation for change in number of days ≥60 minutes MVPA between the SIM and accelerometery was low (r = 0.11) and the accuracy of the SIM for detecting change, using accelerometry as the reference, was only marginally above chance (53%). Therefore, the adolescent version of the SIM is adequate for assessing PA at a single time point but not recommended for assessing change.

Funding

This research was supported by the Victorian Health Promotion Foundation (VicHealth), www.vichealth.vic.gov.au.One of the co-authors was a staff member of the funding body at the time of data collection, and as such the funder had a role in the preparation of the manuscript. However, the funder had no role in the design of the study or the analysis of data.

History

Publication Date

2022-06-03

Journal

PLoS ONE

Volume

17

Issue

6 June

Article Number

e0268459

Pagination

13p.

Publisher

PLOS

ISSN

1932-6203

Rights Statement

© 2022 O’Halloran et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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