Development of Questionnaire to Examine Relationship of Physical Activity and Diabetes in Pima Indians

  1. Lewis H Kuller, MD, DrPH
  1. Department of Epidemiology, Graduate School of Public Health and School of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, the Department of Pediatric Endocrinology, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh Pennsylvania Diabetes and Arthritis Epidemiology Section, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases Phoenix, Arizona the Institute for Aerobics Research Dallas, Texas
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to Andrea Kriska, PhD, Department of Epidemiology, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15261.


There was a need to design a questionnaire that could accurately assess the activity patterns of Native Americans to evaluate the relationship between physical activity and diabetes. Such a questionnaire was developed and implemented into the data collection scheme of the prospective Pima Indian Study of Arizona. The questionnaire, which assesses historical, past-year, and past-week leisure and occupational activity, was examined in 29 Pima individuals aged 21–36 yr and was shown to be reliable with test-retest correlations (rank-order correlations ranged from 0.62 to 0.96 for leisure and occupational activity). Reproducibility of the past-year leisure physical-activity estimate was determined in 69 participants aged 10-59 yr and was found to be reliable in all age-groups with the exception of the 10- to 14-yr-old age-group (rank-order correlations were 0.31 in the 10- to 14-yr-old age-group compared to 0.88 to 0.92 in those >20 yr of age). Validity of the current-activity section of the questionnaire was demonstrated indirectly through comparisons with activity monitors. The past-week leisure-activity estimate was related to the Caltrac activity monitor counts per hour (p = 0.62, P > 0.05, n = 17). In summary, a physical-activity questionnaire has been developed that is both reliable and feasible to use in the Pima Indian population to evaluate the relationship of physical activity to non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus.

  • Received August 16, 1989.
  • Revision received October 18, 1989.
  • Accepted October 18, 1989.
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