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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Criterion validity of a computer -based tutorial for teaching waist circumference self -measurement
by Elliott, William Leland, Ph.D., Union Institute and University, 2007, 105; 3293425
Abstract (Summary)

Human waist circumference (WC) is strongly linked to morbidity and mortality associated with many of today's lifestyle diseases. Health organizations and lifestyle assessment programs are commonly using the WC as a predictor of health risks. Knowing one's WC is a primary step in assessing lifestyle diseases. One concern, however, is the accuracy with which WC measurements are taken. This is especially true if individuals are self-measuring their WC. This study attempted to determine the effectiveness of a computer-based tutorial (CBT) in teaching previously untrained individuals to properly measure the circumference of their waist. This is the first study to test the validity of a computer-based method of teaching WC measurement. To test the efficacy of the computer-based multimedia tutorial in teaching WC self-measurement, eighty-three subjects were recruited from the student population at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs (UCCS). Subjects used the CBT to learn WC self-measurement techniques. Upon completion of the tutorial, each subject attempted to perform WC self-measurement. Subjects' measurements were duplicated by a traditionally trained and experienced tester. Validity of the subjects' measurements was determined by comparing their measurements to those of the experienced tester's. Bland-Altman and box-whisker comparisons revealed an average 1.57 cm bias in the subjects' WC measurements. Bland-Altman bias plots illustrated agreement between the subjects' and experienced tester's measurements. Pearson correlation (r=0.97) showed no significant (p<0.0001) difference between the two groups of measurements. The results of this experiment suggest that the tested CBT is efficacious in teaching waist circumference self-measurement to untrained subjects, as determined by comparison of their measurement results to a traditionally trained and experienced tester's performance. The tested CBT holds the potential to teach the general population ( i.e., nonprofessionals) to properly perform WC self-measurement. The tutorial could be used in the area of health assessment, biomedical education, and scholarly research. The CBT could also be used as a standardized way of instructing individuals in learning WC self-measurement and maintaining this skill.

Key Words: anthropometry, body composition, computer-based tutorial (CBT), measurement, obesity, waist circumference (WC).

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Fenner, Peter
School: Union Institute and University
School Location: United States -- Ohio
Source: DAI-A 68/12, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Health education
Keywords: Body composition, Computer-based tutorial, Self-measurement, Waist circumference
Publication Number: 3293425
ISBN: 978-0-549-37360-5
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