Validation of an Historical Physical Activity Recall Tool in Postpartum Women

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
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Background:

Physical activity (PA) is an important component of a healthy pregnancy and postpartum period. Since prospective PA monitoring throughout gestation is difficult, a valid PA recall tool would be of significant benefit to researchers. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the ability of women to recall their physical activity performed during pregnancy and postpartum, 6 years later.

Methods:

Thirty women participated in an historical PA recall study. Pregnancy PA was monitored carefully via assisted physical activity diary (PAD) 6 years before the current investigation. A Modifiable Activity Questionnaire (MAQ) was used to assess current and past pregnancy PA. The MAQ was administered for each time period in the order of most distant past to most current. Leisure time energy expenditure values (kcal/kg/day) calculated from the PAD and the MAQ were compared.

Results:

MAQ energy expenditure values showed good positive relationships with PAD measures at 20 weeks gestation (r = .57; P < .01), 32 weeks gestation (r = .85; P < .01), and 12 weeks postpartum (r = .86; P < .01). Correlations found were similar to those from previous PA recall and MAQ validation studies using nonpregnant populations.

Conclusions:

The MAQ is an appropriate tool to assess pregnancy and postpartum PA in women 6 years postpartum.

Bauer, Pivarnik, and Feltz are with the Dept of Kinesiology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI. Paneth is with the Dept of Epidemiology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI. Womack is with the Dept of Kinesiology, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA.