A Checklist for Evaluating the Methodological Quality of Validation Studies on Self-Report Instruments for Physical Activity and Sedentary Behavior

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health

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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Hagströmer is with the Dept of Neurobiology, Care Sciences, and Society, Karolinska Institute, Huddinge, Sweden. Ainsworth is with the Program in Exercise and Wellness, College of Nursing and Health Innovation, Arizona State University, Phoenix, AZ. Kwak is with the Dept of Biosciences, Karolinska Institute, Huddinge, Sweden. Bowles is with the Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD.