Background: Musculoskeletal injuries are a significant cause of morbidity during military training. A brief, inexpensive and user-friendly tool that demonstrates reliability and validity is warranted to effectively monitor the relationship between multiple predictor variables and injury incidence in military populations.
Aims: To examine the test-retest reliability of the Military Pre-training Questionnaire (MPQ), designed specifically to assess risk factors for injury among military trainees across five domains (physical activity, injury history, diet, alcohol and smoking).
Methods: Analyses were based on a convenience sample of 58 male British Army trainees. Kappa (k), weighted kappa (k(w)) and intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) were used to evaluate the 2-week test-retest reliability of the MPQ. For index measures constituting the assessment of a given construct, internal consistency was assessed by Cronbach's alpha (alpha) coefficients.
Results: Reliability of individual items ranged from poor to almost perfect (k range = 0.45-0.86; k(w) range = 0.11-0.91; ICC range = 0.34-0.86) with most items demonstrating moderate reliability. Overall scores related to physical activity, diet, alcohol and smoking constructs were reliable between both administrations (ICC = 0.63-0.85). Support for the internal consistency of the incorporated alcohol (alpha = 0.78) and cigarette (alpha = 0.75) scales was also provided.
Conclusions: The MPQ is a reliable self-report instrument for assessing multiple injury-related risk factors during initial military training. Further assessment of the psychometric properties of the MPQ (e.g. different types of validity) with military populations/samples will support its interpretation and use in future surveillance and epidemiological studies.
- physical activity
- risk factors