Identifying inactivity among breast cancer survivors has just become easier

15 Aug 2018 2:00 PM | Brandon Davenport (Administrator)

Digest Commentators:

Adina Coroiu1 & Elena Ivanova2

1Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology, McGill University

2Department of Psychology, McGill University

Edited by: Jennifer Brunet, School of Human Kinetics, University of Ottawa

Physical activity (PA) is a widely studied topic within psycho-oncology, with over 9,000 articles recently identified on the subject by Kampshoff and colleagues. Despite the growing interest in PA, a valid measure to quantify and determine if cancer survivors’ levels of PA meet the recommended levels of at least 150 minutes of moderate activity or at least 75 minutes of vigorous activity is lacking. Amireault, Godin, Lacombe, and Sabiston (2015) addressed this gap in the literature by validating the Godin-Shephard Leisure-Time Physical Activity Questionnaire (GSLTPAQ). The GSLTPAQ is a brief self-report measure that assesses the duration, intensity (i.e., mild, moderate, and vigorous), and frequency of PA performed during the past 7 days. This scale can be used to classify individuals into two activity categories: active (scores ≥ 24) or insufficiently active (scores ≤ 23). The GSLTPAQ is an ideal measure to quantify and compare cancer survivors’ levels of PA against the recommended levels of PA due to its brief format and low administration burden. If validated, this questionnaire could be used in studies seeking to understand the impact of PA behavior on physical and psychosocial health outcomes, as well as in epidemiological studies to determine the prevalence of (in)activity in this clinical population.

In their study, Amireault and colleagues compared PA data obtained using the GSLTPAQ with PA data obtained using accelerometers (GT3X, Actigraph, Pensacola, Florida), with the aim of assessing the accuracy of the GSLTPAQ to classify cancer survivors’ activity levels according to the aforementioned PA guidelines. A total of 199 adult women with a first diagnosis of breast cancer were recruited from various hospitals in Montreal, QC. They were asked to wear an accelerometer (i.e., a physical activity monitoring device) for 7 consecutive days and complete the GSLTPAQ. Based on the accelerometer data, 27.2% of the sample were active. This percentage was lower than the percentage obtained using the GSLTPAQ (i.e., 33.8%). Further, 75.3% of sample were correctly categorized using the GSLTPAQ as being insufficiently active, that is as notmeeting PA guidelines. A smaller percentage, however, were correctly categorized as active (58.5%), that is as meeting PA guidelines.Overall, the authors suggested that the GSLTPAQ is more accurate at identifying insufficiently active women than at identifying active women.

Why we liked this article: We liked this article because the GSLTPAQ has research and practical implications, and the authors established its validity for use with breast cancer survivors. The practical and research implications include: low administration burden, minimum training demands, and low cost, which makes the GSLTPAQ feasible to use for large-scale studies. Further, this measure has clinical utility in that it can be used as a screener to identify inactive breast cancer survivors who would benefit from interventions designed to increase physical activity levels.

Article: Amireault, S., Godin, G., Lacombe, J., & Sabiston, C. M. (2015). Validation of the Godin-Shephard Leisure-Time Physical Activity Questionnaire classification coding system using accelerometer assessment among breast cancer survivors. Journal of Cancer Survivorship, 1-9. doi: 10.1007/s11764-015-0430-6

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