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Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 106, Issue 5, pp e297–e302 | Cite as

Self-report Pregnancy Physical Activity Questionnaire overestimates physical activity

  • Kendra E. Brett
  • Shanna Wilson
  • Zachary M. Ferraro
  • Kristi B. AdamoEmail author
Quantitative Research
  • 2 Downloads

Abstract

Objectives

Physical activity (PA) research during pregnancy relies heavily on indirect/subjective measures of PA, which may be less accurate than directly measured PA. We tested whether the Pregnancy Physical Activity Questionnaire (PPAQ) could accurately estimate PA by comparing PPAQ results to directly measured PA.

Methods

In a sample of 29 women who completed the PPAQ, PA was directly measured in the second trimester of pregnancy using Actical® accelerometers (valid day = 10+ hours; 4–7 valid days). Activity variables from the PPAQ were calculated using all questions, and also by only considering the leisure time section. Women were classified as ‘active’ or ‘non-active’ using Canadian PA guidelines for adults (150 minutes moderate to vigorous PA (MVPA)/ week, bouts of 10+ minutes). Bonferroni corrections were used to adjust for multiple comparisons. Data presented as mean ± standard deviation or median (interquartile range).

Results

The PPAQ overestimated MVPA by 12.12 (14.34) hours/week in the combined sample, and the difference remained substantial when investigating the non-active [overestimate = 11.54 (10.10) hrs/wk] and the active women [overestimate = 16 ± 11 hrs/wk] separately. PPAQ-measured PA variables did not correlate with any of their respective Actical®-measured variables (p > 0.008). The leisure time PPAQ questions overestimated MVPA by 1 ± 3 hrs/wk, with a positive correlation between PPAQ-leisure time MVPA and Actical®-measured MVPA (r= 0.565, p = 0.001).

Conclusion

The PPAQ significantly overestimates MVPA and does not provide an accurate estimate of PA in pregnancy. While PPAQ leisure time questions may help distinguish trends in PA, data from subjective questionnaires may result in misinterpretation of relationships between prenatal PA and health outcomes.

Key Words

Maternal health accelerometry quantitative evaluation qualitative evaluation physical activity 

Résumé

Objectifs

La recherche sur l’activité physique (AP) durant la grossesse recourt largement aux indicateurs indirects/subjectifs de l’AP, lesquels peuvent être moins exacts que l’AP directement mesurée. Nous avons testé l’outil Pregnancy Physical Activity Questionnaire (PPAQ) pour voir s’il estime l’AP de façon exacte, en comparant les résultats du PPAQ aux résultats obtenus à partir de mesures directes de l’AP.

Méthode

Dans un échantillon de 29 femmes ayant rempli le PPAQ, nous avons directement mesuré l’AP au deuxième trimestre de la grossesse à l’aide d’accéléromètres Actical® (jour admissible = 10+ heures; 4–7 jours admissibles). Les variables d’activité du PPAQ ont été calculées en utilisant toutes les questions, et aussi en ne tenant compte que de la section sur le temps libre. Les femmes ont été classées comme étant «actives» ou «non actives» selon les Directives canadiennes en matière d’AP à l’intention des adultes (150 minutes d’activité physique d’intensité modérée à élevée (APIME)/semaine, en épisodes de 10+ minutes). Nous avons appliqué la correction de Bonferroni pour permettre les comparaisons multiples. Les données ont été présentées sous forme de moyenne ± écart type ou de médiane (écart interquartile).

Résultats

Le PPAQ a surestimé l’APIME par 12,12 (14,34) heures/semaine dans l’échantillon combiné, et la différence est demeurée importante lorsque nous avons étudié séparément les femmes non actives [surestimation = 11,54 (10,10) h/sem] et les femmes actives [surestimation = 16 ± 11 h/sem]. Les variables d’AP mesurées selon le PPAQ n’étaient en corrélation avec aucune des variables correspondantes mesurées par Actical® (p > 0,008). Les questions du PPAQ (temps libre) surestimaient l’APIME de 1 ± 3 h/sem, avec une corrélation positive entre l’APIME mesurée selon les questions du PPAQ (temps libre) et l’APIME mesurée par Actical® (r = 0,565, p = 0,001).

Conclusion

Le PPAQ surestime l’APIME de façon significative et n’offre pas une estimation exacte de l’AP durant la grossesse. Les questions du PPAQ portant sur le temps libre peuvent aider à dégager des tendances dans l’AP, mais les données de questionnaires subjectifs peuvent entraîner une fausse interprétation des relations entre l’AP prénatale et les résultats de santé.

Mots Clés

santé maternelle accélérométrie évaluation quantitative évaluation qualitative activité physique 

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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kendra E. Brett
    • 1
    • 2
  • Shanna Wilson
    • 2
  • Zachary M. Ferraro
    • 1
    • 3
  • Kristi B. Adamo
    • 1
    • 2
    • 4
    • 5
    Email author
  1. 1.Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research GroupChildren’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research InstituteOttawaCanada
  2. 2.School of Human Kinetics, Faculty of Health SciencesUniversity of OttawaOttawaCanada
  3. 3.Division of Maternal-Fetal MedicineThe Ottawa Hospital–General CampusOttawaCanada
  4. 4.Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of OttawaOttawaCanada
  5. 5.Faculty of MedicineSchool of Human KineticsOttawaCanada

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