Feasibility of a laboratory-based accelerometer calibration protocol for children with intellectual disabilities

Mcgarty, A. M. , Penpraze, V. and Melville, C. A. (2015) Feasibility of a laboratory-based accelerometer calibration protocol for children with intellectual disabilities. Pilot and Feasibility Studies, 1, 18. (doi: 10.1186/s40814-015-0014-2)

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Background: Accelerometry has not been calibrated for the estimation of physical activity in children with intellectual disabilities (ID), raising questions regarding the validity of interpreting accelerometer data in this population. Various protocols and criterion measures have been used in calibration studies involving typically developing (TD) children; however, the suitability of these activities and measures for children with ID is unknown. Therefore, this study aimed to test the feasibility of a laboratory-based calibration protocol for children with ID. Specifically, the feasibility of activities,measurements, and recruitment was investigated. Methods: Five children with mild to moderate ID (10.20 ± .98 years) and a comparative sample of five TD children (12.40 ± .01 years) participated in this study. Participants performed a free-living and treadmill-based activity protocol during two laboratory-based sessions. Activities were performed for 5 min and ranged from sedentary to vigorous intensity. Treadmill activities ranged from 3 to 8 km/h, and free-living activities included watching a DVD, passing a football, and jumping jacks. Resting energy expenditure was measured, and a graded exercise test was used to assess cardiorespiratory fitness. Breath-by-breath respiratory gas exchange and accelerometry were continually measured during all activities. Feasibility was assessed using observations, activity completion rates, and respiratory data. Results: All TD participants and one participant with ID completed the protocol. The physical demands of the treadmill activities affected the completion rate for participants with ID. No participant met the maximal criteria for the graded exercise test or attained a steady state during the resting measurements. Limitations were identified with the usability of respiratory gas exchange equipment and the validity of measurements. The school-based recruitment strategy was not effective, with a participation rate of 6 %. A significant (z = 13.21, p < .0001) difference in the relationship of V_O2 and accelerometry was identified between ID and TD participants. Conclusions: Due to issues with the usability and validity of breath-by-breath respiratory gas exchange and recruitment, a laboratory-based calibration protocol is currently not feasible for children with ID. An alternative field-based protocol with a non-invasive criterion measure should be considered for future studies.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Penpraze, Ms Victoria and Melville, Professor Craig and Mcgarty, Dr Arlene
Authors: Mcgarty, A. M., Penpraze, V., and Melville, C. A.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > Mental Health and Wellbeing
Journal Name:Pilot and Feasibility Studies
Publisher:BioMed Central
ISSN (Online):2055-5784
Published Online:24 May 2015
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2015 The Authors
First Published:First published in Pilot and Feasibility Studies 1:18
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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