Research Article
Issue Date: January 08, 2019
Published Online: January 10, 2019
Updated: July 31, 2019
Measuring Physical Activity in Spinal Cord Injury Using Wrist-Worn Accelerometers
Author Affiliations
  • Susan L. Murphy, ScD, OTR, is Associate Professor, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and Research Health Science Specialist, Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center, VA Ann Arbor Health Care System, Ann Arbor, MI; sumurphy@umich.edu
  • Anna L. Kratz, PhD, is Associate Professor, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
  • Aaron J. Zynda, BS, CCRP, is Clinical Research Coordinator, Sports Medicine, Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children, Dallas.
Article Information
Neurologic Conditions / Spinal Cord Injury / Research Articles
Research Article   |   January 08, 2019
Measuring Physical Activity in Spinal Cord Injury Using Wrist-Worn Accelerometers
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, January 2019, Vol. 73, 7301205090. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2019.027748
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, January 2019, Vol. 73, 7301205090. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2019.027748
Abstract

OBJECTIVE. Our objective was to evaluate interunit agreement and construct validity of two activity monitors (Actiwatch Score and PRO-Diary) in people with and without spinal cord injury.

METHOD. Thirty-eight participants (19 with spinal cord injury; 19 age- and sex-matched controls; mean age = 49 yr) wore both monitors and completed tasks during one visit ranging in physical intensity. To compare activity by group and monitor, we conducted t tests. We assessed interunit agreement using intraclass correlations and Bland–Altman plots.

RESULTS. Both monitors demonstrated significantly different increasing physical activity levels with higher intensity tasks. Participants with spinal cord injury had similar activity counts within tasks compared with controls except for walking–wheeling. Agreement was high between monitors across tasks (interclass correlation coefficients = .78–.97).

CONCLUSION. Both monitors demonstrated good construct validity for measuring physical activity across activities and high agreement. Either monitor is appropriate to examine physical activity patterns in people with spinal cord injury.