Reporting accelerometer methods in physical activity intervention studies: a systematic review and recommendations for authors.

Author(s): Montoye AHK,  Moore RW,  Bowles HR,  Korycinski R,  Pfeiffer KA

Journal: Br J Sports Med

Date: 2018 Dec

Major Program(s) or Research Group(s): BRG

PubMed ID: 27539504

PMC ID: not available

Abstract: OBJECTIVE: This systematic review assessed the completeness of accelerometer reporting in physical activity (PA) intervention studies and assessed factors related to accelerometer reporting. DESIGN: The PubMed database was used to identify manuscripts for inclusion. Included studies were PA interventions that used accelerometers, were written in English and were conducted between 1 January 1998 and 31 July 2014. 195 manuscripts from PA interventions that used accelerometers to measure PA were included. Manuscript completeness was scored using 12 questions focused on 3 accelerometer reporting areas: accelerometer information, data processing and interpretation and protocol non-compliance. Variables, including publication year, journal focus and impact factor, and population studied were evaluated to assess trends in reporting completeness. RESULTS: The number of manuscripts using accelerometers to assess PA in interventions increased from 1 in 2002 to 29 in the first 7 months of 2014. Accelerometer reporting completeness correlated weakly with publication year (r=0.24, p<0.001). Correlations were greater when we assessed improvements over time in reporting data processing in manuscripts published in PA-focused journals (r=0.43, p=0.002) compared to manuscripts published in non-PA-focused journals (r=0.19, p=0.021). Only 7 of 195 (4%) manuscripts reported all components of accelerometer use, and only 132 (68%) reported more than half of the components. CONCLUSIONS: Accelerometer reporting of PA in intervention studies has been poor and improved only minimally over time. We provide recommendations to improve accelerometer reporting and include a template to standardise reports.