Australian Journal of Primary Health Australian Journal of Primary Health Society
The issues influencing community health services and primary health care
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Resourcing an evolution of roles in general-practice: a study to determine the validity and reliability of tools to assist nurses and patients to assess physical activity

Shona N. Dutton A D , Adrian Bauman B , Sarah M. Dennis C , Nicholas Zwar A and Mark F. Harris A
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Centre for Primary Health Care and Equity, University of NSW, Level 3, AGSM Building, UNSW Australia, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia.

B Sydney Medical School, Edward Ford Building A27, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia.

C Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Sydney, 75 East Street, Lidcombe, NSW 2141, Australia.

D Corresponding author. Email: shona_dutton@hotmail.com

Australian Journal of Primary Health 22(6) 505-509 https://doi.org/10.1071/PY15027
Submitted: 5 March 2015  Accepted: 4 November 2015   Published: 27 April 2016

Abstract

Traditionally, GPs have been responsible for physical activity (PA) assessment within the general practice setting. Multiple questionnaires are available to support uptake of PA assessment but less than 30% of patients are assessed. A range of barriers hamper uptake. Evidence indicates that practice nurses (PNs) and patients are resourceful members of the general practice team but have been underutilised. This study assessed the validity and reliability of two instruments for assessing PA, administered by PNs and patients. The study aimed to identify robust tool(s) to support the evolving role of PNs and patients in prevention and management strategies in general practice. A purposive sample of PNs and patients from general practices in Sydney was invited to participate. The results of the PN- or patient-administered general practice physical activity questionnaire (GPPAQ) and the three-question physical activity questionnaire (3Q) were compared against accelerometer activity. The study examined agreement in classification of PA levels according to Australian PA recommendations. Validity showed low–moderate correlations between accelerometer and GPPAQ (rho = 0.26), 3Q (rho = 0.45). Seven-day test-retest reliability intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) were 0.82–0.95 for GGPAQ and 0.94–0.98 for 3Q. Agreement with PA recommendations was moderate for GPPAQ (kappa 0.73, 95% CI, 0.56–0.85) and fair for 3Q (kappa 0.62, 95% CI, 0.47–0.78). Although 3Q demonstrated higher correlation with accelerometry, GPPAQ demonstrated higher agreement with PA guidelines. Given GPPAQ showed reasonable rigour, it may prove useful for PN and patient use.

Additional keywords: general practice, measurement, physical activity, practice nurse, primary health care.


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