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Test-retest reliability of a self-reported physical activity environment instrument for use in rural settings

Cleland, V ORCID: 0000-0001-8358-3237, Timperio, A, Sharman, M and Dollman, J 2020 , 'Test-retest reliability of a self-reported physical activity environment instrument for use in rural settings' , Australian Journal of Rural Health, vol. 28 , pp. 168-179 , doi: 10.1111/ajr.12625.

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Objective: Little is known about how the physical environment impacts physical activity behaviour among rural populations, who are typically less active and at higherrisk of chronic disease than urban dwellers. The lack of individual-level instrumentsto assess the physical environment in rural areas limits advancement of this field.Among rural adults, this study aimed to evaluate (a) the test-retest reliability of aself-reported questionnaire of individual-level perceptions of the physical activityenvironment, and (b) the stability of a self-reported physical activity questionnaire.Design: Cross-sectional questionnaire repeated twice, 2 weeks apart. The questionnaire included 94 items relating to the perceived physical environment (representingnine summary scores), demographic characteristics and physical activity.Setting: Rural Australia.Participants: Rurally residing adults (≥18 years) across three Australian states.Main outcome measures: Test-retest reliability evaluated by weighted Kappa statistics (individual items) and intra-class correlations (summary scores).Results: A total of 292 participants (20% men) completed both questionnaires, on average 22 days apart. Test-retest reliability of individual items ranged from weightedKappa 0.37-0.85 (median: 0.59). Internal reliability for five summary scores wasgood to excellent (Cronbach's alpha: 0.81-0.97). Test-retest reliability was good toexcellent for six summary scores (intra-class correlations: 0.67-0.77).Conclusions: The findings indicated good to excellent test-retest reliability for mostitems, particularly “fixed” constructs for this new questionnaire measuring the perceived physical environment in rural populations. This study represents an important step towards improving measurement of physical activity environments in ruralpopulations, potentially leading to better tailored interventions to promote active andhealthy living in rural areas.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Cleland, V and Timperio, A and Sharman, M and Dollman, J
Keywords: rural, physical activity, measurement, survey, built environment, walkability, epidemiologic methods, public health, rural population, surveys and questionnaires
Journal or Publication Title: Australian Journal of Rural Health
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Asia
ISSN: 1038-5282
DOI / ID Number: 10.1111/ajr.12625
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2020 National Rural Health Alliance Ltd.

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