This study assessed physical activity (PA) in community dwelling adults with Type 2 diabetes, using multiple instruments reflecting internationally normed PA and diabetes-specific self-care behaviors.
Two hundred and fifty-three Black (44.8%) and White (55.2%) Americans [mean age = 57.93; 39.5% male] recruited at low-income clinic and community health settings. Participants completed validated PA self-report measures developed for international comparisons (International Physical Activity Questionnaire Short Form), characterization of diabetes self-care (Summary of Diabetes Self-Care Activities Measure; SDSCA) and exercise-related domains including provider recommendations and PA behaviors and barriers (Personal Diabetes Questionnaire; PDQ).
Self-reported PA and PA correlates differed by instrument. BMI was negatively correlated with PA level assessed by the PDQ in both genders, and assessed with SDSCA activity items in females. PA levels were low, comparable to previous research with community and diabetes samples. Pain was the most frequently reported barrier; females reported more frequent PA barriers overall.
When using self-report PA measures for PA evaluation of adults with diabetes in clinical settings, it is critical to consider population and setting in selecting appropriate tools. PA barriers may be an important consideration when interpreting PA levels and developing interventions. Recommendations for incorporating these measures in clinical and research settings are discussed.