The validity and value of self-reported physical activity and accelerometry in people with schizophrenia: a population-scale study of the UK Biobank

Joseph Firth, Brendon Stubbs, Davy Vancampfort, Felipe B. Schuch, Philip B. Ward, Josh A Firth, Jerome Sarris, Alison Yung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Previous physical activity (PA) research in schizophrenia has relied largely upon self-report measures. However, the accuracy of this method is questionable. Obtaining accurate measurements, and determining what may influence PA levels in schizophrenia, is essential to understand physical inactivity in this population. This study examined differences in self-reported and objectively-measured PA in people with schizophrenia and the general population using a large, population-based dataset from the UK Biobank.
Methods: Baseline data from the UK Biobank (2007-2010) were analysed; including 1,078 people with schizophrenia (54.19±8.39 years; 55% male) and 450,549 without (56.44±8.11; 46% male). We compared self-reported PA with objectively-measured accelerometry data in schizophrenia and comparison samples. We also examined correlations between self-report and objective measures.
Results: People with schizophrenia reported the same PA levels as those without, with no differences in low, moderate, or vigorous intensity activity. However, accelerometry data showed a large and statistically significant reduction of PA in schizophrenia; as people with schizophrenia, on average, engaged in less PA than 80% of the general population. Nonetheless, within the schizophrenia sample, total self-reported PA still held significant correlations with objective measures.
Conclusions: People with schizophrenia are significantly less active than the general population. However, self-report measures in epidemiological studies fail to capture the reduced activity levels in schizophrenia. This also has implications for self-report measures of other lifestyle factors which may contribute towards the poor health outcomes observed in schizophrenia. Nonetheless, self-report measures may still be useful for identifying how active individuals with schizophrenia relative to other patients.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1293-1300
JournalSchizophrenia Bulletin
Volume44
Issue number6
Early online date24 Oct 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 17 Oct 2018

Keywords

  • exercise
  • psychosis
  • psychotic disorders
  • aerobic
  • cardiovascular
  • metabolic
  • accelerometer

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