NCCOR Webinars

Enhancing Researchers' Abilities to Promote Childhood Obesity Prevention and Control

The National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research (NCCOR) identifies issues that are particularly relevant to researchers interested in childhood obesity and develops webinars on these topics. NCCOR also supports and promotes related upcoming webinars sponsored by other organizations by posting them here, and archiving webinar resources in its blog. Below are resources from past NCCOR webinars.


Connect & Explore

Feb. 13, 2014

The National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research (NCCOR) launched Connect & Explore—a webinar series to engage, inform, and communicate with researchers and other external audiences. The Connect & Explore webinar series will be conducted three times per year. This first webinar included an overview of NCCOR and its mission and accomplishments, a panel discussion with representatives from NCCOR's four funders, and insight into three funding opportunities. The webinar concluded with several recent research highlights from the field.


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NCCOR Measures Registry

May 19, 2011

The National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research (NCCOR) hosted a webinar featuring its Measures Registry, a searchable online registry of diet and physical activity measures relevant to childhood obesity research. The Registry includes almost 750 measures in four domains: individual dietary behavior, food environment, individual physical activity, and physical activity environment. This webinar describec the features and functions of the Registry and explain how the Registry works to promote the consistent use of common measures and research methods across childhood obesity prevention and research.

View a recording of this webinar (WMV file 470MB)

Learn more about the Registry: www.nccor.org/measures

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NCCOR Catalogue of Surveillance Systems

May 5, 2011

The National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research (NCCOR) Catalogue of Surveillance Systems allows users to review, sort and compare more than 75 surveillance systems relevant to childhood obesity research.

The Catalogue provides a unique window on obesity-related environmental factors and policies, as well as trends in relevant health behaviors, outcomes and determinants.

This webinar described the newly released Catalogue's features and functions, how to use the Catalogue to support state/local health department goals, and how to use the Catalogue to increase effectiveness and innovation in research.

View a recording of this webinar (WMV file 612MB)

Learn more about the Catalogue: www.nccor.org/css

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Measurement of active and sedentary behaviors: Closing the gaps in self-report methods

July 21, 2010

No single measure can capture physical activity perfectly. Development of self-report methods has been a persistent and evolving pursuit. Measures vary in how they quantify a broad range of health-related and behavioral constructs, from physiologic response to exercise, to participation in specific types of activities, to patterns of usual lifestyle behaviors. An additional challenge for measuring active and sedentary behaviors by self-report is creating instruments that are relevant in culturally and linguistically diverse populations.

This six-part webinar provided:

  • An overview of physical activity as a multidimensional health behavior
  • An in-depth review of methods to measure active and sedentary behaviors by self-report
  • An exploration of important issues when assessing physical activity in diverse populations

Webinar Schedule

(The webinar slides and audio are available for download below each session description. The audio files are in Windows Media Video (WMV) format and will play best on Microsoft Windows Media Player.)

Following the webinar on July 21, a think tank was held July 22–23. There, measurement experts discussed approaches to closing the gaps in self-report methods assessing active and sedentary behaviors. READ MORE

Session 1: A framework for physical activity as a complex & multidimensional behavior
Session 2: A typology for linking self-report methods to study design & data modeling strategies
Session 3: A checklist for evaluating the validity and suitability of existing physical activity and sedentary behavior self-report instruments
Session 4: Language translation and cultural adaptation of self-report instruments for cross-cultural comparisons
Session 5: Developing self-report questionnaires to assess physical activity: A methodological overview
Session 6: Approaches to modeling the measurement error structure of self-report physical activity data
POST-WEBINAR: Think Tank

WEBINAR SESSION 1: A framework for physical activity as a complex & multidimensional behavior

July 21, 2010

Speakers

Kelley Pettee Gabriel, PhD
University of Texas Health Science Center

James R Morrow, Jr, PhD
University of North Texas

Background

Physical activity is a complex, multidimensional phenomenon that can be conceptualized as either the behavior driving movement or the physiological attributes of movement. The selection of the most psychometrically appropriate self-report tool(s) to measure specific constructs of physical activity is a challenge for researchers, public health practitioners, clinicians, and those conducting large-scale surveillance activities. The lack of a reasonable gold standard measure and inconsistent use of both established and evolving terminology have contributed to these challenges. Further, there is variation in methods used to develop self-report instruments and the constructs they measure. The variation between instruments could be attributed to the absence of a standardized conceptual framework for physical activity. Developing a framework with agreed-upon definitions can guide instrument construction, implementation, and interpretation. The authors present a conceptual framework based on human movement and differentiate between behavioral and physiological constructs to assist individuals with the selection of appropriate self-report instruments that accurately capture the multidimensional nature of physical activity to encourage consistency across research and public health practice.

Recommended Articles

  1. Caspersen CJ, Powell KE, Christenson, GM. Physical activity, exercise, and physical fitness: Definitions and distinctions for health-related research. Public Health Rep. 1985; 100(2):126-130.
  2. Lamonte MJ, Ainsworth BE. Quantifying energy expenditure and physical activity in the context of dose response. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2001; 33(6 Suppl):S370–S378.
  3. Troiano RP. Can there be a single best measure of reported physical activity? Am J Clin Nutr. 2009; 89:736-737.
  4. Washburn RA, Heath GW, Jackson AW. Reliability and validity issues concerning large-scale surveillance of physical activity. Res Q Exerc Sport. 2000; 71:S104-S113.

Download Session 1 Slides (PDF)

Download Introduction & Session 1 Audio (WMV | 207MB)

If the presentation slide had animation, the PDF slide will only show the last shot, which might cause overlapping images/less optimal viewing.


WEBINAR SESSION 2: A typology for linking self-report methods to study design & data modeling strategies

Speakers

Barbara Sternfeld, Ph.D.
Kaiser Permanente

Background

For researchers and practitioners designing a study or a program evaluation, the decision about what method to use for assessing physical activity is always difficult. Several considerations, including the physical activity construct to be measured and practical constraints, such as cost, may favor the use of a self-report method, instead of, or in addition to, an objective method. However, deciding to assess physical activity with self report is only the first step in a series of choices that must be made, given the broad array of existing self-report instruments and the lack of consensus in the field regarding what instruments are optimal under what circumstances. To date, there has been no systematic approach to developing a typology of the many self-report physical activity instruments that links a given measure to a particular study design, population group, construct or domain of activity, analytic approach or any of the other important parameters that should influence which instrument to use. The purpose of this presentation is to begin to fill that gap by describing a systematic approach to this type of linkage.

Recommended Articles

  1. Jacobs DR Jr, Ainsworth BE, Hartman TJ, Leon AS. A simultaneous evaluation of 10 commonly used physical activity questionnaires. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1993; 25(1):81-91.
  2. Pettee Gabriel K, McClain JJ, Lee CD, Swan PD, Alvar BA, Mitros MR, Ainsworth BE. Evaluation of physical activity measures used in middle-aged women. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2009; 41(7):1403-1412.
  3. Shephard RJ. Limits to the measurement of habitual physical activity by questionnaire. Br J Sports Med. 2003; 37(3):197-206.
  4. Schatzkin A, Subar AF, Moore S, Park Y, Potischman N, Thompson FE, Leitzmann M, Hollenbeck A, Morrissey KG, Kipnis V. Observational epidemiologic studies of nutrition and cancer: The next generation (with better observation). Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2009; 18(4):1026-1032.

Download Session 2 Slides (PDF)

Download Session 2 Audio (WMV | 214MB)

If the presentation slide had animation, the PDF slide will only show the last shot, which might cause overlapping images/less optimal viewing.


WEBINAR SESSION 3: A checklist for evaluating the validity and suitability of existing physical activity and sedentary behavior self-report instruments

Speakers

Maria Hagströmer, Ph.D.
Karolinska Institutet

Background

Multiple organizations and research groups have constructed registries of physical activity self-report instruments. The shared goal is to establish a resource for accurate and efficient measurement of physical activity; however, few provide guidance for the uninitiated about how to choose a self-report instrument from the many available. A checklist for evaluating the validity, cultural sensitivity, and feasibility of administration is presented to guide instrument selection from a registry as well as design and reporting of instrument validation studies.

Recommended Articles

  1. Rennie KL, Wareham NJ. The validation of physical activity instruments for measuring energy expenditure: Problems and pitfalls. Public Health Nutr. 1998; 1(4):265-271.
  2. Schmidt ME, Steindorf K. Statistical methods for the validation of questionnaires: Discrepancy between theory and practice. Methods Inf Med. 2006; 45(4):409-413.
  3. Downs SH, Black N. The feasibility of creating a checklist for the assessment of the methodological quality both of randomised and non-randomised studies of health care interventions. J Epidemiol Community Health. 1998; 52(6):377-384.
  4. Pols MA, Peeters PH, Kemper HC, Grobbee DE. Methodological aspects of physical activity assessment in epidemiological studies. J Epidemiol. 1998; 14(1):63-70.

Download Session 3 Slides (PDF)

Download Session 3 Audio (WMV | 163MB)

If the presentation slide had animation, the PDF slide will only show the last shot, which might cause overlapping images/less optimal viewing.


WEBINAR SESSION 4: Language translation & cultural adaptation of self-report instruments for cross-cultural comparisons

Speakers

Elva Arredondo, Ph.D.
San Diego State University

Background

The U.S. population is becoming increasingly diverse, and technology and transportation have facilitated greater access to the global community. These factors allow us new opportunities for investigating the role of physical activity behavior that take into account the intricacies of race, culture, language, gender, age and socioeconomic factors. In many cases, formative research is needed to tailor self-report instruments and refine them for the complexities of language, culture, and other contextual processes. Cognitive interviewing can be used to improve the collection of self-report data, as this technique examines individuals' thoughts and feelings about the questions they are being asked. Guidelines for cultural attunement of self-report instruments are described to promote more uniform processes of adaptation and facilitate cross-cultural investigations.

Recommended Articles

  1. Altschuler A, Picchi T, Nelson M, Rogers JD, Hart J, Sternfeld B. Physical activity questionnaire comprehension: lessons from cognitive interviews. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2009; 41:336-343.
  2. Pasick RJ, Stewart SL, Bird JA, D'Onofrio CN. Quality of data in multiethnic health surveys. Public Health Rep. 2001; 116:223-243.

Recommended Textbooks

  1. Schwarz, N., Sudman, S. (Eds.) (1995). Answering Questions: Methodology for Determining Cognitive and Communicative Processes in Survey Research. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
  2. Sirken, M. G. et al (Eds.). (1999). Cognition and Survey Research. New York: Wiley.
  3. Stone, A. et al. (Eds.) (2000) The Science of Self-Report. Implications for Research Practice. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
  4. Sudman, S. Bradburn, N., Schwarz, N. (Eds.). (1996). Thinking About Answers: The Application of Cognitive Processes to Survey Methodology (Jossey-Bass Social and Behavioral Sciences Series). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
  5. Tanur, J. (Ed.) (1992). Questions About Questions. Inquires into the Cognitive Bases of Surveys. New York: Sage.
  6. Tourangeau, R., Rips, L.J., Rasinski, K.A. (2000). The Psychology of Survey Response. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  7. Willis GB: Cognitive interviewing: a tool for improving questionnaire design. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications; 2005.

Download Session 4 Slides (PDF)

Download Session 4 Audio (WMV | 128MB)

If the presentation slide had animation, the PDF slide will only show the last shot, which might cause overlapping images/less optimal viewing.


WEBINAR SESSION 5: Developing self-report questionnaires to assess physical activity: A methodological overview

Speakers

Louise Mâsse
University of British Colombia

Background

Developing accurate methods for measuring habitual physical activity is critical to: 1) epidemiological studies aimed at assessing relations between physical activity and health; 2) surveillance studies designed to monitor patterns and change in physical activity at the population level; and 3) intervention studies generally aimed at detecting small changes in physical activity. A number of field methods have been employed to assess habitual physical activity including behavioral observations, diaries, self- and interviewer-administered questionnaires, motion sensors, physiological markers, and assessment of energy expenditure with doubly labeled water. Without any doubts, questionnaires remain the most practical and economical method to assess physical activity in large epidemiological studies. However, the utility of questionnaires is often debated and the field of physical activity is divided on their use given that the validity and reliability of questionnaires is often much lower than other methods. This webinar will discuss the potential of advanced psychometric methods to improve the psychometric properties of questionnaires.

Download Session 5 Slides (PDF)

Download Session 5 Audio (WMV | 141MB)

If the presentation slide had animation, the PDF slide will only show the last shot, which might cause overlapping images/less optimal viewing.


WEBINAR SESSION 6: Approaches to modeling the measurement error structure of self-report data

Speakers

Sarah Nusser, Ph.D.
Iowa State University

Background

All self-report instruments will contain a degree of measurement error that cannot be reduced with additional instrument testing and refinement. In this case, it is important to evaluate the structure of this measurement error and determine the magnitude of the effect the error has on measures of association. Methods to correct measures of association for measurement error are becoming more frequently used in epidemiologic studies of diet. Few examples of error analyses are available in the physical activity measurement literature. The approaches to modeling measurement error are described to promote the use of these methods in physical activity research.

Recommended Articles

  1. Ferrari P, Firedenreich C, Matthews CE. The role of measurement error in estimating levels of physical activity. Am J Epidemiol. 2007; 166(7):832-840.
  2. Kipnis V, Subar AF, Midthune D, Feedman LS, Ballard-Barbash R, Troiano RP, Bingham S, Schoeller DA, Schatzkin A, Carroll RJ. Structure of dietary measurement error: results of the OPEN Biomarker Study. Am J Epidemiol. 2003; 158(1):14-21.
  3. Carriquiry AL. Estimation of usual intake distributions of nutrients and foods. J Nutr. 133:601S-608S.
  4. Beyler NK, Nusser SM, Fuller WA, Carriquiry AL, Welk GJ. Survey design for studies of measurement error in physical activity assessments. Proceedings of the American Statistical Association Survey Research Methods Section. 2007.

Download Session 6 Slides (PDF)

Download Session 6 & Conclusion Audio (WMV | 287MB)

If the presentation slide had animation, the PDF slide will only show the last shot, which might cause overlapping images/less optimal viewing.

POST-WEBINAR: Think Tank

Following the webinar, a think tank was held. There, measurement experts discussed approaches to closing the gaps in self-report methods that assess active and sedentary behaviors. The discussions focused on three key questions:

  1. What is the role of self-report in the repertoire of available active and sedentary behavior measurement methods, and how might we best combine self-report and objective data?
  2. What can be done to improve the accuracy of estimates of active and sedentary behaviors derived from self-report?
  3. What must a self-report instrument capture for comparisons across diverse groups and how can equivalence be preserved when adapting measures?

For each key question, think tank participants identified:

  • challenge areas where increased conceptual and methodological development is needed or has taken place
  • the most promising opportunities for resolving challenge areas in self-report measurement, including scientific research, research training, and core or shared resources
  • best practices for measuring active and sedentary behaviors by self-report with currently available measures and methods

Following the think tank, panels prepared consensus statements addressing the key questions and a plain-language guide to physical activity measurement will be created. 

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Four-part webinar series on policy evaluation

Overview

This web-based seminar series aims to increase skills of researchers and practitioners in policy evaluation effectiveness.

Increasingly, policies are being implemented at state and local levels that are intended to reduce obesity prevalence by improving diet and/or increasing physical activity. Rigorous evaluation of these "natural experiments" may be an effective means for the research community to inform policy on the issues of obesity, diet, and activity.

The four webinars were taught by Dr. Kathryn Newcomer, co-director of the Midge Smith Center for Evaluation Effectiveness and Professor of Public Policy and Public Administration at The George Washington University in Washington, DC.

Schedule

Webinar 1: Basics of Design to Evaluate Policy Interventions
Date: February 27, 2009
Topics:

  • Planning to enhance the elements of methodological integrity in design: validity, reliability, statistical testing and generalizability
  • Establishing appropriate comparisons
  • Establishing appropriate benchmarks for assessing performance
  • Sampling strategies
  • Pre-testing all data collection instruments in the appropriate populations

Watch the webinar. Download the slides.


Webinar 2: Addressing Pitfalls to Research in Real World Settings
Date: April 3, 2009
Topics:

  • Redundancy and contingency plans before going into the field
  • Addressing data quality assurance in real time
  • Addressing limitations to assessment of validity and reliability
  • Addressing problems of measurement influencing behavior (response set on surveys; Hawthorne effect and Pygmalion effects on performance, etc.)
  • Assessing the robustness of our measures

Watch the webinar. Download the slides.


Webinar 3: Enhancing the Usefulness of Evidence to Inform Practice
Date: May 1, 2009
Topics:

  • The rule of evidence from GAO – relevance, competence and sufficiency
  • Bolstering confidence in results
  • Expressing degrees of uncertainty fairly
  • Expressing assumptions so that practitioners can assess how much credence to put into findings
  • Planning for dissemination of results

Watch the webinar. Download the slides.


Webinar 4: Communicating Results Effectively
Date: June 12, 2009
Topics:

  • Thinking strategically about what type(s) of results to report and where to report them
  • Conveying the strength of the research process and evidence transparently and clearly to audiences
  • Presenting both quantitative and qualitative data clearly
  • Clarifying the difference between statistical significance and the practical importance of results
  • Crafting Executive Summaries that are well-suited for a particular audience (e.g., policymakers, researchers, etc.)

Watch the webinar. Download the slides.

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