The quality of methodological papers assessing physical activity instruments depends upon the rigor of a study’s design.
We present a checklist to assess key criteria for instrument validation studies.
A Medline/PubMed search was performed to identify guidelines for evaluating the methodological quality of instrument validation studies. Based upon the literature, a pilot version of a checklist was developed consisting of 21 items with 3 subscales: 1) quality of the reported data (9 items: assess whether the reported information is sufficient to make an unbiased assessment of the findings); 2) external validity of the results (3 items: assess the extent to which the findings are generalizable); 3) internal validity of the study (9 items: assess the rigor of the study design). The checklist was tested for interrater reliability and feasibility with 6 raters.
Raters viewed the checklist as helpful for reviewing studies. They suggested minor wording changes for 8 items to clarify intent. One item was divided into 2 items for a total of 22 items.
Checklists may be useful to assess the quality of studies designed to validate physical activity instruments. Future research should test checklist internal consistency, test-retest reliability, and criterion validity.