Validity of electronically administered Recent Physical Activity Questionnaire (RPAQ) in ten European countries.
Golubic R., May AM., Benjaminsen Borch K., Overvad K., Charles M-A., Diaz MJT., Amiano P., Palli D., Valanou E., Vigl M., Franks PW., Wareham N., Ekelund U., Brage S.
OBJECTIVE: To examine the validity of the Recent Physical Activity Questionnaire (RPAQ) which assesses physical activity (PA) in 4 domains (leisure, work, commuting, home) during past month. METHODS: 580 men and 1343 women from 10 European countries attended 2 visits at which PA energy expenditure (PAEE), time at moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA) and sedentary time were measured using individually-calibrated combined heart-rate and movement sensing. At the second visit, RPAQ was administered electronically. Validity was assessed using agreement analysis. RESULTS: RPAQ significantly underestimated PAEE in women [median(IQR): 34.9 (22.3, 52.8) vs. 40.6 (32.4, 50.9) kJ/kg/day, 95%LoA: -44.4, 66.1 kJ/kg/day) and overestimated PAEE in men [45.9 (30.6, 71.1) vs. 45.5 (34.1, 57.6) kJ/kg/day, 95%LoA: -44.8, 102.6 kJ/kg/day]. Using individualised definition of 1MET, RPAQ significantly underestimated MVPA in women [median(IQR): 63.7 (30.5, 126.9) vs. 73.6 (47.8, 107.2) min/day, 95%LoA: -127.4, 311.9 min/day] and overestimated MVPA in men [90.0 (42.3, 188.6) vs. 83.3 (55.1, 125.0) min/day, 95%LoA: -134.8, 427.3 min/day]. Correlations (95%CI) between subjective and objective estimates were statistically significant [PAEE: women, rho = 0.20 (0.15-0.26); men, rho = 0.37 (0.30-0.44); MVPA: women, rho = 0.18 (0.13-0.24); men, rho = 0.31 (0.24-0.38)]. When using non-individualised definition of 1MET (3.5 mlO2/kg/min), MVPA was substantially overestimated (16 min/day, and 32 min/day in women and men, respectively). Revisiting occupational intensity assumptions in questionnaire estimation algorithms with occupational group-level empirical distributions reduced median PAEE-bias in manual (38.8 kJ/kg/day vs. 6.8 kJ/kg/day, p<0.001) and heavy manual workers (63.6 vs. -2.8 kJ/kg/day, p<0.001) in an independent hold-out sample [corrected]. CONCLUSION: Relative validity of RPAQ-derived PAEE and MVPA is comparable to previous studies but underestimation of PAEE is smaller. Electronic RPAQ may be used in large-scale epidemiological studies including surveys, providing information on all domains of PA.