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Robin A. McKinnon, Heather R. Bowles, and Matthew J. Trowbridge

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Maria Hagströmer, Barbara E. Ainsworth, Lydia Kwak, and Heather R. Bowles

Context:

The quality of methodological papers assessing physical activity instruments depends upon the rigor of a study’s design.

Objectives:

We present a checklist to assess key criteria for instrument validation studies.

Process:

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.

Findings:

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.

Discussion:

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.

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Eboneé N. Butler, Anita M.H. Ambs, Jill Reedy, and Heather R. Bowles

Background:

Examining relationships between features of the built environment and physical activity is achievable with geographic information systems technology (GIS). The purpose of this paper is to review the literature to identify GIS measures that can be considered for inclusion in national public health surveillance efforts. In the absence of a universally agreed upon framework that integrates physical, social, and cultural aspects of the environment, we used a multidimensional model of access to synthesize the literature.

Methods:

We identified 29 studies published between 2005 and 2009 with physical activity outcomes that included 1 or more built environment variables measured using GIS. We sorted built environment measures into 5 dimensions of access: accessibility, availability, accommodation, affordability, and acceptability.

Results:

Geospatial land-use data, street network data, environmental audits, and commercial databases can be used to measure the availability, accessibility, and accommodation dimensions of access. Affordability and acceptability measures rely on census and self-report data.

Conclusions:

GIS measures have been included in studies investigating the built environment and physical activity, although few have examined more than 1 construct of access. Systematic identification and collection of relevant GIS measures can facilitate collaboration and accelerate the advancement of research on the built environment and physical activity.