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International Journal of Pediatrics
Volume 2012, Article ID 976425, 12 pages
Review Article

A Systematic Review of the Clinimetric Properties of Habitual Physical Activity Measures in Young Children with a Motor Disability

1Queensland Cerebral Palsy & Rehabilitation Research Centre, School of Medicine, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD 4029, Australia
2Children's Nutrition Research Centre, School of Medicine, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD 4029, Australia
3Queensland Children’s Medical Research Institute, The Royal Children’s Hospital, Brisbane, QLD 4029, Australia
4The Royal Children’s Hospital, Herston, Brisbane, QLD 4029, Australia
5School of Population Health, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD 4006, Australia

Received 24 January 2012; Revised 4 April 2012; Accepted 23 April 2012

Academic Editor: Kristie F. Bjornson

Copyright © 2012 Stina Oftedal et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Aim. To identify and systematically review the clinimetric properties of habitual physical activity (HPA) measures in young children with a motor disability. Method. Five databases were searched for measures of HPA including: children aged <6.0 years with a neuromuscular disorder, physical activity defined as “bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles causing caloric expenditure”, reported HPA as duration, frequency, intensity, mode or energy expenditure, and evaluated clinimetric properties. The quality of papers was assessed using the COSMIN-checklist. A targeted search of identified measures found additional studies of typically developing young children (TDC). Results. Seven papers assessing four activity monitors met inclusion criteria. Four studies were of good methodological quality. The Minimod had good ability to measure continuous walking but the demonstrated poor ability to measure steps during free-living activities. The Intelligent Device for Energy Expenditure and Activity and Ambulatory Monitoring Pod showed poor ability to measure activity during both continuous walking and free-living activities. The StepWatch showed good ability to measure steps during continuous walking in TDC. Interpretation. Studies assessing the clinimetric properties of measures of HPA in this population are urgently needed to allow assessment of the relationship between HPA and health outcomes in this group.