Co-design and content validity of the movement measurement in the early years (MoveMEY) tool for assessing movement behaviour of pre-school aged children

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Phillips, Sophie M.; email: 
Summerbell, Carolyn 
Hesketh, Kathryn R. 
Saxena, Sonia 
Hillier-Brown, Frances C. 

Background: Movement behaviours (physical activity, sedentary behaviour, and sleep) are important for pre-school children’s health and development. Currently, no tools with appropriate content validity exist that concurrently capture these movement behaviours in young children. The aim of this study was to co-design and assess the content validity of a novel tool to concurrently measure movement behaviours in pre-school aged children (aged 3–4 years). Methods: We followed four distinct steps to develop and assess the content validity of Movement Measurement in the Early Years (MoveMEY): (1) We conducted an extensive literature search, to identify pre-existing proxy measurement tools (questionnaires and diaries) to inform the design of a novel tool, which aimed to effectively capture movement behaviour guidelines of pre-school aged children. (2) We facilitated focus group discussions with parents and carers of pre-school aged children (n = 11) and (3) a qualitative survey with free text responses was completed by topic relevant researchers (n = 6), to co-design the measurement tool. (4) We assessed the content validity of the developed tool, MoveMEY, through interviews with parents of pre-school aged children (n = 12) following piloting of the tool. Results: We developed an initial version of MoveMEY based on the format of an existing questionnaire and by mapping the content of questions to the guidelines. Co-design of MoveMEY resulted in changes to the format (e.g. short questionnaire to a seven-day diary) and content (e.g. inclusion of ‘general information’ questions on illness, disabilities and sleep disturbances; question on screen time before bed). Content validity assessment demonstrated that the items of MoveMEY were relevant and comprehensive for the assessment of children’s movement behaviours. MoveMEY was felt to be comprehensible, however, parental suggestions were implemented to finalise and improve MoveMEY (e.g. adding examples to questions aiming to detect moderate to vigorous physical activity). Conclusion: MoveMEY is the first co-designed measurement tool that has relevance for assessing the movement behaviour guidelines of pre-school aged children. Parent/carer and topic relevant researcher involvement throughout the development process resulted in a seven-day daily reported activity diary that is comprehensive of children’s movement behaviours and comprehensible to parents and carers.


Acknowledgements: We would like to thank all early years settings and contacts in the local council for contributing to the recruitment of participants for this research, and all parents, carers and children for their participation in this research. We would also like to thank topic relevant researchers for their input and involvement with this research (Professor Helen Ball, Dr Daniel Bingham, Dr Esther Van Sluijs, and Professor John Reilly).

Diary, Sleep, Measurement, Physical activity, Content validity, Movement behaviour, Pre-school, Development, Co-design, Sedentary behaviour
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International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity
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BioMed Central
NIHR School for Public Health Research (Grant Reference Number PD-SPH-2015)