Purpose: This study examined the construct validity of the physical activity recall assessment for people with spinal cord injury (PARA-SCI).
Methods: First, to assess convergent validity, relationships between PARA-SCI scores and measures of aerobic fitness and muscular strength were examined among 73 men and women with SCI. Second, extreme groups analyses were conducted. PARA-SCI scores from 158 people with SCI were compared between groups differing on demographic, disability, and behavioral characteristics.
Results: Scores from the leisure time physical activity (LTPA) and cumulative activity PARA-SCI categories correlated positively with parameters of aerobic fitness and muscular strength. Scores from the lifestyle activity PARA-SCI category were not consistently associated with fitness parameters. LTPA category scores could differentiate between groups differing by age, sex, gym or sports team membership, and frequency of participation in LTPA. Lifestyle and cumulative activity scores were unable to distinguish between most groups.
Conclusion: The convergent validity study provided evidence of validity for the PARA-SCI LTPA and cumulative activity categories. The extreme groups analyses provided further evidence of the validity of the LTPA category by demonstrating differences in extreme groups. Together, these findings contribute to the accumulating evidence of the construct validity of the PARA-SCI LTPA category and its utility for assessing LTPA among individuals with SCI. These results also highlight measurement constraints of the lifestyle activity and cumulative activity categories.