1. de Carvalho Bastone, Alessandra PT, PhD
  2. de Souza Moreira, Bruno PT, MSc
  3. Teixeira, Claudine Patricia PT Graduation Student
  4. Dias, Joao Marcos Domingues PT, PhD
  5. Dias, Rosangela Correa PT, PhD


Background: Aerobic fitness in older adults is related to health status, incident disability, nursing home admission, and all-cause mortality. The most accurate quantification of aerobic fitness, expressed as peak oxygen consumption in mL[middle dot]kg-1[middle dot]min-1, is the cardiorespiratory exercise test; however, it is not feasible in all settings and might offer risk to patients. The Veterans Specific Activity Questionnaire (VSAQ) is a 13-item self-administered symptom questionnaire that estimates aerobic fitness expressed in metabolic equivalents (METs) and has been validated to cardiovascular patients.


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to assess the validity and reliability of the VSAQ in older adults without specific health conditions.


Methods: A methodological study with a cross-sectional design was conducted with 28 older adults (66-86 years). The VSAQ was administered on 3 occasions by 2 evaluators. Aerobic capacity in METs as measured by the VSAQ was compared with the METs found in an incremental shuttle walk test (ISWT) performed with a portable metabolic measurement system and with accelerometer data.


Results: The validity of the VSAQ was found to be moderate-to-good when compared with the METs and distance measured by the ISWT and with the moderate activity per day and steps per day obtained by accelerometry. The Bland-Altman graph analysis showed no values outside the limits of agreement, suggesting good precision between the METs estimated by questionnaire and the METs measured by the ISWT. Also, the intrarater and interrater reliabilities of the instrument were good.


Conclusions: The results showed that the VSAQ is a valuable tool to assess the aerobic fitness of older adults.