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Is the IPAQ-SF valid for assessing physical activity in chronic fatigue syndrome?


Tate Mitchell to CO-CURE May 8

'Is the International Physical Activity Questionnaire-Short Form
(IPAQ-SF) valid for assessing physical activity in chronic fatigue syndrome'

Meeus M, Van Eupen I, Willems J, Kos D, Nijs J.
Disabil Rehabil. 2010 May 6. [Epub ahead of print]

Division of Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy, Department of Health
Sciences, Artesis University College Antwerp (AHA), Antwerp, Belgium.



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

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

Conclusion. 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.