Measuring change in trials of physical activity interventions: A comparison of self-report questionnaire and accelerometry within the PACE-UP trial 11 Medical and Health Sciences 1117 Public Health and Health Services
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionInternational Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity. 2019, 16, 10. 10.1186/s12966-018-0762-5
Background: Few trials have compared estimates of change in physical activity (PA) levels using self-reported and objective PA measures when evaluating trial outcomes. The PACE-UP trial offered the opportunity to assess this, using the self-administered International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) and waist-worn accelerometry. Methods: The PACE-UP trial (N = 1023) compared usual care (n = 338) with two pedometer-based walking interventions, by post (n = 339) or with nurse support (n = 346). Participants wore an accelerometer at baseline and 12 months and completed IPAQ for the same 7-day periods. Main outcomes were weekly minutes, all in ≥10 min bouts as per UK PA guidelines of: i) accelerometer moderate-to-vigorous PA (Acc-MVPA) ii) IPAQ moderate+vigorous PA (IPAQ-MVPA) and iii) IPAQ walking (IPAQ-Walk). For each outcome, 12 month values were regressed on baseline to estimate change. Results: Analyses were restricted to 655 (64%) participants who provided data on all outcomes at baseline and 12 months. Both intervention groups significantly increased their accelerometry MVPA minutes/week compared with control: postal group 42 (95% CI 22, 61), nurse group 43 (95% CI 24, 63). IPAQ-Walk minutes/week also increased: postal 57 (95% CI 2, 112), nurse 43 (95% CI -11, 97) but IPAQ-MVPA minutes/week showed non-significant decreases: postal -11 (95% CI -65, 42), nurse -34 (95% CI -87, 19). Conclusions: Our results demonstrate the necessity of using a questionnaire focussing on the activities being altered, as with IPAQ-Walk questions. Even then, the change in PA was estimated with far less precision than with accelerometry. Accelerometry is preferred to self-report measurement, minimising bias and improving precision when assessing effects of a walking intervention.
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