King's College London

Research portal

The validity of the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) for adults with progressive muscle diseases

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Sarah F. Roberts-Lewis, Claire M. White, Mark Ashworth, Michael R. Rose

Original languageEnglish
JournalDisability and Rehabilitation
Early online date4 Oct 2021
Accepted/In press2021
E-pub ahead of print4 Oct 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information: The research reported in this paper was supported by grants from the Rockwell International Corporation, the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research and the U.S. Army Research Office. Publisher Copyright: © 2021 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

King's Authors


Purpose: Measuring the physical activity of adults with progressive muscle diseases is important to inform clinical practice, for activity recommendations and for outcomes meaningful to participants in clinical trials. Despite its wide use, the measurement properties of the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) have not been established in a muscle disease population. Materials and methods: The sample of 103 adults with progressive muscle diseases included independently mobile participants and wheelchair users. Their home-based activity measured by the IPAQ was compared to simultaneous weeks of accelerometer activity data collected remotely in a longitudinal, measure evaluation study. Validity, reliability, and responsiveness were evaluated for the IPAQ alone, and for the IPAQ used in conjunction with a smart activity monitor. Results: The IPAQ did not demonstrate satisfactory criterion validity, reliability or responsiveness and it systematically overestimated moderate and vigorous physical activity time by 161 minutes per week. Measurement properties of the IPAQ were improved when it was used in combination with a smart activity monitor. Conclusions: The IPAQ did not have satisfactory measurement properties compared to accelerometry in adults with progressive muscle disease. Combining self-report and objective activity measures might improve the accuracy of physical activity assessment in this and other comparable populations.Implications for Rehabilitation Physical activity is a meaningful health outcome for adults with progressive muscle diseases, for whom precise activity quantification is important because of the potential for activity-related disease exacerbation. The International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) had unsatisfactory measurement properties compared to accelerometry; however, these were improved by adjunctive smart activity monitoring. Objective or combined physical activity measurement is recommended over self-report alone for clinical assessment of physical activity as part of rehabilitation and self-management programmes.

View graph of relations

© 2020 King's College London | Strand | London WC2R 2LS | England | United Kingdom | Tel +44 (0)20 7836 5454