Background It is unclear what is the best method of
accurately identifying physically inactive
patients in general practice. This study
aimed to compare the performance of
different methods of assessing patient
physical activity levels in general practice.
Results Data from 29 patients was included.
Agreement between subjective
assessments was highest for GPs’ usual
assessment (agreement 73%; kappa
0.47; p=0.03), which also gave the
highest area under the ROC curve (0.75,
95% CI: 0.52–0.98). However, this still
had low specificity (67%) and positive PV
(63%). Using a cut-off of 7500 steps/day
maximised the area under the ROC curve
at 0.91 (95% CI: 0.82–1.00), 19.2% greater
than GPs’ usual assessment.
Conclusion Measuring steps per day may be a
feasible and more effective way to screen
for physically inactive patients than self
report. A large scale study to confirm these
results is necessary.
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