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Is the International Physical Activity Questionnaire-Short Form (IPAQ-SF) valid for assessing physical activity in chronic fatigue syndrome – Source: Disability and Rehabilitation, May 6, 2010

  [ 25 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ]
By Mira Meeus, Jo Nijs, et al. • • May 10, 2010

Purpose: To evaluate the criterion validity and internal consistency of the International Physical Activity Questionnaire-short form (IPAQ-sf) in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) patients.

Method: Fifty-six CFS patients completed the IPAQ-sf after they wore a tri-axial accelerometer and filled out activity diaries during 1 week. Spearman rank correlation coefficients and Cronbach's Alpha were calculated.

Results: The IPAQ-sf correlated significantly with the energy expenditure and Metabolic Equivalents (METs) minutes spent moderately to vigorously active following the activity diary and accelerometer. These correlation coefficients were however low (r varying between 0.282 and 0.426) and rather irrelevant, since CFS patients hardly reach moderate or vigorous activity levels. Internal consistency between the three subitems used for the total score of the IPAQ-sf was 0.337.

The observed associations between the IPAQ-sf data and the data obtained from the accelerometer (gold standard) and the diaries were too low to be in support of the use of the IPAQ-sf in patients with CFS. The IPAQ-sf does not seem an appropriate tool to assess physical activity in CFS patients. Further study is required to seek for a valid, practical and affordable tool.

Disability and Rehabilitation, May 6, 2010. PMID: 20446802, by Meeus M, Van Eupen I, Willems J, Kos D, Nijs J. Division of Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy, Department of Health Sciences, Artesis University College Antwerp (AHA), Antwerp, Belgium. E-mail: [Email: or]

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