Reliability and Validity of the Cancer Prevention Study-3 Physical Activity Survey Items

in Journal for the Measurement of Physical Behaviour
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  • 1 American Cancer Society
  • 2 National Cancer Institute
  • 3 University of Georgia
  • 4 California Polytechnic State University
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This study examined the test-retest reliability and criterion validity of light (LPA), moderate (MPA), vigorous (VPA), and moderate-to-vigorous (MVPA) physical activity survey items in a subset of participants from a large prospective cohort. Participants included 423 women and 290 men aged 31–72 years in the Cancer Prevention Study-3 (CPS-3). Information on physical activity (PA) was collected using two different surveys: one survey which captures all activity performed during a typical 24-hour period in broad categories (24-hour survey), and a more detailed survey focused primarily on leisure-time PA (LTPA survey). One-year reliability was assessed by computing Spearman correlation coefficients between responses from pre- and post-study periods for both surveys. Validity was assessed by comparing survey-estimated PA with accelerometry, seven-day diaries, and a latent variable representing ‘true’ PA estimated through the method of triads. Reliability was considered acceptable for most items on the LTPA survey (range ρ = 0.45–0.92) and the 24-hour survey (range ρ = 0.37–0.61). LPA validity coefficients were higher for the 24-hour survey, while MPA, VPA, and MVPA coefficients were higher for the LTPA survey. Study results suggest that both CPS-3 PA surveys are suitable for ranking or classifying participants in our population according to overall PA category or intensity-specific activity level.

Rees-Punia, Anderson, Gapstur, and Patel are with the American Cancer Society, Atlanta, GA. Evans and Schmidt are with the Dept. of Kinesiology; Gay is with the Dept. of Health Promotion and Behavior; University of Georgia, Athens, GA. Matthews is with the Metabolic Epidemiology Branch, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD. Keadle is with the Dept. of Kinesiology, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, CA.

Rees-Punia ( is corresponding author.

Supplementary Materials

    • Supplementary Figure 1 (PDF 66 KB)
    • Supplementary Figure 2 (PDF 68 KB)
    • Supplementary Figure 3 (PDF 103 KB)
    • Supplementary Table 1 (PDF 24 KB)
    • Supplementary Table 2 (PDF 168 KB)