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Title: Contributions to the psychological evaluation of UK exercise referral : the ER-QLS a measure of exercise-related life-quality
Author: Hilton, C. E.
Awarding Body: Nottingham Trent University
Current Institution: Nottingham Trent University
Date of Award: 2010
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The benefits of physical activity for health are sufficient enough to be incorporated into UK public health policy and the exercise referral scheme is a popular method of engaging sedentary individuals into a more active lifestyle. However, the evidence base as to the extent to which such schemes impact upon holistic health outcomes is limited. This deficit is particularly apparent for psychological measures, despite these being reported as the most likely outcomes of a referral into exercise. The primary reason for this problem is the lack of tools available to exercise professionals with which to capture this valuable data. This thesis proposes that, in addition to the more commonplace monitoring of physiological outcomes and physical activity level, that psychological responses to, and outcomes of, a referral into exercise should be monitored as part of routine practice. The complete thesis provides an exercise referral sensitive quality of life measure, the Exercise Referral Quality of Life Scale (ER-QLS), which is intended for use in practice and/or for the purposes of research. Five stages of research were undertaken to produce the final measure. Two were qualitative and three were quantitative. Stage one utilised a series of five focus groups to generate rich data for the purposes of item development and a conceptual framework of exercise-related life-quality that would inform subsequent psychometric analyses. Stage two employed best-practice recommendations from previous research to construct test items and formulate a test measure that was formatted in such a way as to facilitate its completion and reduce respondent burden. Stage three cognitively pre-tested these test-pool items to ensure that they were interpreted as intended and to establish appropriate face and content validity. Stage four employed a classical testing theory approach to item reduction and also assessed the initial reliability of the measure through test-retest and internal consistency analyses. The final fifth stage employed a principal components and parallel analysis approach to exploratory factor analysis and assessed the internal consistency, test-re-test reliability, acceptability, content validity, and convergent and known groups components of construct validity of the final measure. The ER-QLS showed good reliability and validity, is easy to administer and to score. It is expected that the measure will encourage the monitoring of exercise-related life-quality within exercise referral settings as part of more holistic approaches to evaluation. The implications for wider policy and practice are also discussed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available