Reliability of primary caregivers reports on lifestyle behaviours of European pre-school children: The ToyBox-study

E. M. González-Gil*, T. Mouratidou, G. Cardon, O. Androutsos, I. De Bourdeaudhuij, M. Góźdź, N. Usheva, Julia Birnbaum, Y. Manios, L. A. Moreno, Eva Grammatikaki, Christina Katsarou, Eftychia Apostolidou, Eirini Efstathopoulou, Berthold Koletzko, Kristin Duvinage, Sabine Ibrügger, Angelika Strauß, Birgit Herbert, Julia BirnbaumAnnette Payr, Christine Geyer, Marieke De Craemer, Ellen De Decker, Lieven Annemans, Stefaan De Henauw, Lea Maes, Carine Vereecken, Jo Van Assche, Lore Pil, Mai Chin A. Paw, Saskia te Velde, Juan Fernandez, Maribel Mesana, Pilar De Miguel-Etayo, Luis Gracia-Marco, Beatriz Oves, Agneta Yngve, Susanna Kugelberg, Christel Lynch, Annhild Mosdøl, Bente B. Nilsen B., Carolyn Summerbell, Helen Moore, Wayne Douthwaite, Catherine Nixon, Susanne Kreichauf, Andreas Wildgruber, Piotr Socha, Zbigniew Kulaga, Kamila Zych, Beata Gurzkowska, Katarzyna Szott, Violeta Iotova, Mina Lateva, Sonya Galcheva, Vanya Marinova, Zhaneta Radkova, Nevyana Feschieva, Tim Lobstein, Andrea Aikenhead, Goof Buijs, Annemiek Dorgelo, Aviva Nethe, Jan Jansen, Otto Gmeiner, Jutta Retterath, Julia Wildeis, Axel Günthersberger, Leigh Gibson, Claus Voegele

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Reliable assessments of health-related behaviours are necessary for accurate evaluation on the efficiency of public health interventions. The aim of the current study was to examine the reliability of a self-administered primary caregivers questionnaire (PCQ) used in the ToyBox-intervention. The questionnaire consisted of six sections addressing sociodemographic and perinatal factors, water and beverages consumption, physical activity, snacking and sedentary behaviours. Parents/caregivers from six countries (Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Greece, Poland and Spain) were asked to complete the questionnaire twice within a 2-week interval. A total of 93 questionnaires were collected. Test-retest reliability was assessed using intra-class correlation coefficient (ICC). Reliability of the six questionnaire sections was assessed. A stronger agreement was observed in the questions addressing sociodemographic and perinatal factors as opposed to questions addressing behaviours. Findings showed that 92% of the ToyBox PCQ had a moderate-to-excellent test-retest reliability (defined as ICC values from 0.41 to 1) and less than 8% poor test-retest reliability (ICC<0.40). Out of the total ICC values, 67% showed good-to-excellent reliability (ICC from 0.61 to 1). We conclude that the PCQ is a reliable tool to assess sociodemographic characteristics, perinatal factors and lifestyle behaviours of pre-school children and their families participating in the ToyBox-intervention.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-66
Number of pages6
JournalObesity Reviews
Issue numberSUPPL.3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014

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