Validity of the self-administered past-week Modifiable Activity Questionnaire (SMAQ)

Madeline Jeansonne, The University of Texas School of Public Health


Since its development in 1990, the Modifiable Activity Questionnaire (MAQ) has undergone several transformations yet maintained acceptable measurement properties. The design of an ongoing NIH R01 project, the Houston TRAIN Study, required a self-administered physical activity questionnaire to be delivered by mail to 1,900 adult participants. The interviewer-administered past-week MAQ was reformatted into the Self-administered Modifiable Activity Questionnaire (SMAQ) and mailed to participants to be completed at home. Later, participants wore an accelerometer for 7 consecutive days. SMAQ-based physical activity summary estimates were compared to those from accelerometer data in 65 study participants. Spearman rank-order correlation coefficients were used to determine the SMAQ's convergent validity with accelerometer data. Associations were highest for the SMAQ transport-related physical activity estimate, but stratifications by number of days between self-report and device-based assessment, sex, race, and age revealed important differences in observed associations by methodological and socio-demographic factors. However, subgroup analysis may not have been sufficiently powered to make conclusions within stratifications. Based on these findings, the SMAQ provides acceptable estimates of physical activity behavior when compared to accelerometry in this diverse population. Future studies should evaluate its convergent validity with temporally matched data and larger sample sizes as well as its test-retest reliability.

Subject Area

Public health|Epidemiology

Recommended Citation

Jeansonne, Madeline, "Validity of the self-administered past-week Modifiable Activity Questionnaire (SMAQ)" (2014). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1568984.