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Parental Views on the Acceptability and Feasibility of Measurement Tools Used to Assess Movement Behaviour of Pre-School Children: A Qualitative Study

Phillips, Sophie M. and Summerbell, Carolyn and Hesketh, Kathryn R. and Saxena, Sonia and Hillier-Brown, Frances C. (2022) 'Parental Views on the Acceptability and Feasibility of Measurement Tools Used to Assess Movement Behaviour of Pre-School Children: A Qualitative Study.', International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19 (6). p. 3733.


Movement behaviours (physical activity, sedentary behaviour, and sleep) are important for the health and development of pre-school children (aged 3–4 years). There is limited qualitative research examining the acceptability and feasibility of tools used to assess movement behaviours in pre-schoolers. This study explored parental views on various measurement tools in three deprived areas in England, UK (West Yorkshire, County Durham and Northumberland). The study consisted of a demonstration of the different tools (accelerometers, a diary and a questionnaire), directly followed by focus group discussions. Three focus group discussions with a total of eleven parents and carers were transcribed verbatim and analysed using thematic analysis. Findings revealed four main themes: (1) importance of contextual information when using any measurement tool (e.g., child illness, capturing different routines); (2) practical issues associated with devices (e.g., aversion to devices being attached directly to the skin of their child; concern of larger devices during sleep time); (3) encouraging children to wear a device (e.g., making devices attractive to children—‘superpowers’); and (4) presentation of diaries and questionnaires (e.g., age-appropriate movement activities, preference for real-time recording over recall). Practical recommendations for the use of the tools to measure movement behaviours of pre-school children are provided.

Item Type:Article
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Available under License - Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
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Publisher statement:This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Date accepted:17 March 2022
Date deposited:06 July 2022
Date of first online publication:21 March 2022
Date first made open access:06 July 2022

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