Validation of the PDPAR as an Adolescent Diary: Effect of Accelerometer Cut Points

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To evaluate the validity of the Previous Day Physical Activity Recall (PDPAR) as a physical activity diary in adolescents using two accelerometer intensity classifications.


One hundred eighth graders (47 boys, 53 girls) used the PDPAR as a daily diary and wore MTI accelerometers for four consecutive days. Measured time spent in moderate (≥3 METs) and vigorous (≥6 METs) activity was based on two published MTI cut-point limits (that of Freedson et al./Trost et al. and that of Puyau et al.). Spearman rank order correlations and Bland-Altman plots were used to examine agreement between MTI and PDPAR diary estimates of activity.


MTI estimates of mean minutes per day of total moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) were 65.2 (±43.2) using the Freedson et al./Trost et al. cutoffs and 17.5 (±18.5) using those of Puyau et al., while students self-reported 105.1 (±80.1) min·d−1. Significant relationships were observed between the diary and MTI for total MVPA using either the Freedson et al./Trost et al. (r = 0.42) or Puyau et al. (r = 0.41) cutoff as well as raw counts (r = 0.44). Plots showed reasonable agreement between the diary and Freedson et al./Trost et al. MTI estimates of MVPA for daily totals of ≤60 min, but the Puyau et al. estimates were consistently lower. Diaries overestimated activity as time increased when compared to either MTI cut point, especially on vigorous activity.


Time estimates of MVPA differed by assessment tool, but diary estimates showed adequate association with the MTI. Diaries reflected intensity-specific activity, corresponding most closely with the Freedson et al./Trost et al. classification of moderate, but substantially overestimated vigorous activity regardless of cut-point method. This is likely due to the measurement characteristics of the PDPAR, which classifies activities in 30-min blocks, as well as the nature of common activities in which high levels of intensity are not sustained.

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