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An evaluation of three self-report physical activity instruments for older adults


Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: June 2001 - Volume 33 - Issue 6 - p 962-970

HARADA, N. D., V. CHIU, A. C. KING, and A. L. STEWART. An evaluation of three self-report physical activity instruments for older adults. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc., Vol. 33, No. 6, 2001, pp. 962–970.

Purpose: To assess the known-groups and construct validity of measures from the CHAMPS Physical Activity Questionnaire, Physical Activity Survey for the Elderly (PASE), and the Yale Physical Activity Survey (YPAS).

Methods: The three questionnaires were administered to a convenience sample of older adults (N = 87) recruited from community centers and retirement homes. Validation measures included the SF-36 measures of physical functioning, general health, mental health, and pain; body mass index; performance-based tests of lower body functioning and endurance; and Mini-Logger activity monitor data from ankle and waist sensors. Validity was estimated by testing hypotheses about associations between physical activity and validation measures.

Results: As hypothesized, differences in activity levels on all measures were found between older adults in retirement homes (less active) and community centers (more active) (P-values < 0.0001). Correlations of physical activity measures with performance-based measures ranged from 0.44 to 0.68, conforming to hypotheses; hypotheses regarding associations with the SF-36 measures were also confirmed. Body mass index was not correlated with any of the physical activity measures, contrary to hypotheses. Correlations of physical activity measures with Mini-Logger counts ranged from 0.36 to 0.59 (ankle) and 0.42 to 0.61 (waist) as hypothesized. Correlations among the measures from the three instruments ranged from 0.58 to 0.68.

Conclusions: The PASE, YPAS, and CHAMPS each demonstrated acceptable validity, as all measures met nearly all hypotheses. Higher validity coefficients were found for subgroups (men, 65-74 yr, retirement home), suggesting that these instruments may perform better for certain segments of the older adult population.

Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center, VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, Los Angeles, CA; UCLA/VA/RAND MEDTEP Center, UCLA School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA; Stanford Center for Research in Disease Prevention, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA; and Institute for Health and Aging, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA

September 1999

September 2000

© 2001 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.