Reproducibility and Validity of the Shanghai Women's Health Study Physical Activity Questionnaire

Charles E. Matthews, Xiao Ou Shu, Gong Yang, Fan Jin, Barbara E. Ainsworth, Dake Liu, Yu Tang Gao, Wei Zheng

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129 Scopus citations


In this investigation, the authors evaluated the reproducibility and validity of the Shanghai Women's Health Study (SWHS) physical activity questionnaire (PAQ), which was administered in a cohort study of approximately 75,000 Chinese women aged 40-70 years. Reproducibility (2-year test-retest) was evaluated using kappa statistics and intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs). Validity was evaluated by comparing Spearman correlations (r) for the SWHS PAQ with two criterion measures administered over a period of 12 months: four 7-day physical activity logs and up to 28 7-day PAQs. Women were recruited from the SWHS cohort (n = 200). Results indicated that the reproducibility of adolescent and adult exercise participation (K = 0.85 and K = 0.64, respectively) and years of adolescent exercise and adult exercise energy expenditure (ICC = 0.83 and ICC = 0.70, respectively) was reasonable. Reproducibility values for adult lifestyle activities were lower (ICC = 0.14-0.54). Significant correlations between the PAQ and criterion measures of adult exercise were observed for the first PAQ administration (physical activity log, r= 0.50; 7-day PAQ, r = 0.62) and the second PAQ administration (physical activity log, r = 0.74; 7-day PAQ, r = 0.80). Significant correlations between PAQ lifestyle activities and the 7-day PAQ were also noted (r = 0.33-0.88). These data indicate that the SWHS PAQ is a reproducible and valid measure of exercise behaviors and that it demonstrates utility in stratifying women by levels of important lifestyle activities (e.g., housework, walking, cycling).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1114-1122
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican journal of epidemiology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Dec 1 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Data collection
  • Epidemiologic methods
  • Exercise
  • Questionnaires
  • Reproducibility of results
  • Validation studies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


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