Adherence to accelerometer protocols among women from economically disadvantaged neighborhoods

Patricia A. Sharpe, Sara Wilcox, Laura J. Rooney, Donna Strong, Rosie Hopkins-Campbell, Jean Butel, Barbara Ainsworth, Deborah Parra-Medina

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Background: Objective measurement of physical activity with accelerometers is a challenging task in community-based intervention research. Challenges include distribution of and orientation to monitors, nonwear, incorrect placement, and loss of equipment. Data collection among participants from disadvantaged populations may be further hindered by factors such as transportation challenges, competing responsibilities, and cultural considerations. Methods: Research staff distributed accelerometers and provided an orientation that was tailored to the population group. General adherence strategies such as follow-up calls, daily diaries, verbal and written instructions, and incentives were accompanied by population-specific strategies such as assisting with transportation, reducing obstacles to wearing the accelerometer, tailoring the message to the participant population, and creating a nonjudgmental environment. Results: Sixty women asked to wear the Actigraph GT1M returned the accelerometer, and 57 of them provided sufficient data for analysis (at least 10 hours a day for a minimum of 4 days) resulting in 95% adherence to the protocol. Participants wore the accelerometers for an average of 5.98 days and 13.15 hours per day. Conclusions: The high accelerometer monitoring adherence among this group of economically disadvantaged women demonstrates that collection of high-quality, objective physical activity data from disadvantaged populations in field-based research is possible.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)699-706
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Physical Activity and Health
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jul 2011


  • Exercise
  • Low-income
  • Measurement
  • Physical activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Epidemiology
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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