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1.  Measurement Error of Self-Reported Physical Activity Levels in New York City: Assessment and Correction 
American Journal of Epidemiology  2015;181(9):648-655.
Because it is difficult to objectively measure population-level physical activity levels, self-reported measures have been used as a surveillance tool. However, little is known about their validity in populations living in dense urban areas. We aimed to assess the validity of self-reported physical activity data against accelerometer-based measurements among adults living in New York City and to apply a practical tool to adjust for measurement error in complex sample data using a regression calibration method. We used 2 components of data: 1) dual-frame random digit dialing telephone survey data from 3,806 adults in 2010–2011 and 2) accelerometer data from a subsample of 679 survey participants. Self-reported physical activity levels were measured using a version of the Global Physical Activity Questionnaire, whereas data on weekly moderate-equivalent minutes of activity were collected using accelerometers. Two self-reported health measures (obesity and diabetes) were included as outcomes. Participants with higher accelerometer values were more likely to underreport the actual levels. (Accelerometer values were considered to be the reference values.) After correcting for measurement errors, we found that associations between outcomes and physical activity levels were substantially deattenuated. Despite difficulties in accurately monitoring physical activity levels in dense urban areas using self-reported data, our findings show the importance of performing a well-designed validation study because it allows for understanding and correcting measurement errors.
PMCID: PMC4481536  PMID: 25855646
bias; motor activity; New York City; self report; statistical model
3.  Feasibility of Increasing Childhood Outdoor Play and Decreasing Television Viewing Through a Family-Based Intervention in WIC, New York State, 2007-2008 
Preventing Chronic Disease  2011;8(3):A54.
Active Families is a program developed to increase outdoor play and decrease television viewing among preschool-aged children enrolled in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). Our objective was to assess its feasibility and efficacy.
We implemented Active Families in a large WIC clinic in New York State for 1 year. To this end, we incorporated into WIC nutrition counseling sessions a community resource guide with maps showing recreational venues. Outcome measures were children's television viewing and time playing outdoors and parents' behaviors (television viewing, physical activity), self-efficacy to influence children's behaviors, and parenting practices specific to television viewing. We used a nonpaired pretest and posttest design to evaluate the intervention, drawing on comparison data from 3 matched WIC agencies.
Compared with the children at baseline, the children at follow-up were more likely to watch television less than 2 hours per day and play outdoors for at least 60 minutes per day. Additionally, parents reported higher self-efficacy to limit children's television viewing and were more likely to meet physical activity recommendations and watch television less than 2 hours per day.
Results suggest that it is feasible to foster increased outdoor play and reduced television viewing among WIC-enrolled children by incorporating a community resource guide into WIC nutrition counseling sessions. Future research should test the intervention with a stronger evaluation design in multiple settings, with more diverse WIC populations, and by using more objective outcome measures of child behaviors.
PMCID: PMC3103559  PMID: 21477494

Results 1-3 (3)