A systematic review of active transportation research in Africa and the psychometric properties of measurement tools for children and youth

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Title: A systematic review of active transportation research in Africa and the psychometric properties of measurement tools for children and youth
Authors: Larouche, Richard
Oyeyemi, Adewale L
Prista, Antonio
Onywera, Vincent
Akinroye, Kingsley K
Tremblay, Mark S
Date: 2014-10-18
Abstract: Abstract Background Previous systematic reviews indicate that active transportation (AT; the use of non-motorized travel modes such as walking, running and cycling) is an important source of daily physical activity (PA). However, no previous systematic review has examined travel behaviours among African children and youth or the psychometric properties of measurement tools used among children and youth worldwide. Methods Studies on AT among African children and youth (aged 5–17 years) were identified through 1) the MEDLINE and Embase databases; 2) manual searches of six African journals that are not indexed in these databases; and 3) the articles included in a previous systematic review on PA among children and youth in Sub-Saharan Africa. Second, literature on the psychometric properties of measurement tools for children and youth was searched using the MEDLINE, Embase, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, PsycInfo, SportDiscus, and Health and Psychosocial Instruments databases. Study quality was assessed with a modified version of the Downs and Black checklist. Results Twenty studies reported original data on AT among African children and youth. This evidence suggests that rates of AT to/from school are lower in urban areas and in youth attending higher SES schools. Two population-based studies reported rates of AT ranging between 19.8% and 66.6% in multiple countries. Studies conducted in Africa seldom examined non-school travel and only one reported data on the psychometric properties of their measures of travel behaviours. Nineteen studies conducted predominantly in high-income countries provided psychometric data. Child and parent reports were used in 17 studies, and these measures generally showed substantial to almost perfect test-retest reliability and convergent validity for school trips. Limited information was available regarding non-school trips. Objective measures of travel behaviours have been used much less often, and further validity and reliability assessments are warranted. Conclusion These findings emphasize a need for more research examining travel behaviours among African children and youth, particularly for non-school travel. Further research is needed to develop valid and reliable measures of non-school travel and to examine their psychometric properties in the African context. These measures could then be used to evaluate AT promotion interventions.
URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12966-014-0129-5
http://hdl.handle.net/10393/33742
CollectionLibre accès - Publications // Open Access - Publications
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