Comparison of psychometric properties between recall methods of interview-based physical activity questionnaires: A systematic review

Kenji Doma*, Renée Speyer, Lauren Alese Parsons, Reinie Cordier

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
14 Downloads (Pure)


Background: This systematic review examined the methodological quality of studies and assessed the psychometric qualities of interview-administered Past-week and Usual-week Physical Activity Questionnaires (PAQs). Pubmed and Embase were used to retrieve data sources. Methods: The studies were selected using the following eligibility criteria: 1) psychometric properties of PAQs were assessed in adults; 2) the PAQs either consisted of recall periods of usual 7-days (Usual-week PAQs) within the past 12 months or during the past 7-days (Past-week PAQs); and 3) PAQs were interview-administered. The COSMIN taxonomy was utilised to critically appraise study quality and a previously established psychometric criteria employed to evaluate the overall psychometric qualities. Results: Following screening, 42 studies were examined to determine the psychometric properties of 20 PAQs, with the majority of studies demonstrating good to excellent ratings for methodological quality. For convergent validity (i.e., the relationship between PAQs and other measures), similar overall associations were found between Past-week PAQs and Usual-week PAQs. However, PAQs were more strongly associated with direct measures of physical activity (e.g., accelerometer) than indirect measures of physical activity (i.e., physical fitness), irrespective of recall methods. Very few psychometric properties were examined for each PAQ, with the majority exhibiting poor ratings in psychometric quality. Only a few interview-administered PAQs exhibited positive ratings for a single psychometric property, although the other properties were either rated as poor or questionable, demonstrating the limitations of current PAQs. Conclusion: Accordingly, further research is necessary to explore a greater number of psychometric properties, or to develop new PAQs by addressing the psychometric limitations identified in the current review.

Original languageEnglish
Article number43
Number of pages29
JournalBMC Medical Research Methodology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2019
Externally publishedYes


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