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Open Access Research article

Reliability of the modified child and adolescent physical activity and nutrition survey, physical activity (CAPANS-PA) questionnaire among chinese-australian youth

Claudia Strugnell1*, Andre Renzaho2, Kate Ridley3 and Cate Burns2

Author Affiliations

1 School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Deakin University, 221 Burwood Hwy, Burwood, Victoria 3125, Australia

2 WHO Collaborating Centre for Obesity Prevention, Deakin University, 221 Burwood Hwy, Burwood, Victoria 3125, Australia

3 School of Education, Flinders University, GPO Box 2100, Adelaide, South Australia 5001, Australia

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BMC Medical Research Methodology 2011, 11:122  doi:10.1186/1471-2288-11-122

Published: 25 August 2011



Evidence suggests that differences exist in physical activity (PA) participation among Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) children and adolescents. It is possible that these differences could be influenced by variations in measurement technique and instrument reliability. However, culturally sensitive instruments for examining PA behaviour among CALD populations are lacking. This study tested the reliability of the Child and Adolescent Physical Activity and Nutrition Survey (CAPANS-PA) recall questionnaire among a sample of Chinese-Australian youth.


The psychometric property of the CAPANS-PA questionnaire was examined among a sample of 77 Chinese-Australian youth (aged 11 - 14 y) who completed the questionnaire twice within 7 days. Test-retest reliability of individual items and scales within the CAPANS-PA questionnaire was determined using Kappa statistics for categorical variables and intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) for continuous variables.


The CAPANS-PA questionnaire demonstrated acceptable test-retest reliability for frequency and duration of time spent in weekly Moderate to Vigorous Physical Activity (MVPA) (ICC ≥ 0.70) for all participants. Test-retest reliability for time spent in weekly sedentary activities was acceptable for females (ICC = 0.82) and males (ICC = 0.72).


The results suggest the CAPANS-PA questionnaire provides reliable estimates for type, frequency and duration of MVPA participation among Chinese-Australian youth. Further investigation into the reliability of the sedentary items within the CAPANS-PA is required before these items can be used with confidence. This study is novel in that the reliability of instruments among CALD groups nationally and internationally remains sparse and this study contributes to the wider body of available psychometrically tested instruments. In addition, this study is the first to our knowledge to successfully engage and investigate the basic health enhancing behaviours of Chinese-Australian adolescents.