Assessing physical activity counseling skills: Evaluating reliability and validity


With the need to promote physical activity, it is valuable to explore the skills and confidence of those providing physical activity counseling. However, there are limited tools specific for the physical activity setting. This study evaluated the reliability and validity of two such measures: a modified Helping Relationships Questionnaire (HRQ) and a physical activity coaching efficacy scale. Kinesiology students (N=65; 66.2% women) completed an online survey that assessed the HRQ, physical activity coaching efficacy scale, and a modified version of the Counselor Activity Self-efficacy scales (CASES). One week later, participants were invited to complete the survey a second time. Cronbach alpha and intraclass correlations were used to assess reliability. For validity, the correlations between the HRQ, the physical activity coaching efficacy scale and CASES were evaluated. Additionally, a t-test was used to compare students (n=15) who completed an applied exercise psychology course with those who had not completed the course (n=49). The physical activity coaching efficacy scale showed good reliability with acceptable Cronbach alphas at both time 1 (?=.93) and time 2(? =.95) as well as a test-retest ICC of 0.77. The physical activity coaching efficacy scale was positively related to the validated CASES scale (r=0.66, p<.001). There was no difference in the efficacy of students who took a course and those who did not (p=.117). The HRQ measure is still being scored and its reliability and validity will be added to the abstract later. The physical activity coaching efficacy scale showed preliminary support for its reliability and validity.