Calibration and validation of the Physical Activity Barrier Scale for persons who are blind or visually impaired

Miyoung Lee, Ph.D., Weimo Zhu, Ph.D., Elizabeth Ackley-Holbrook, Ph.D., Diana G. Brower, M.S., Bryan McMurray, M.S.

Disability and Health Journal, Vol. 7, Issue 3, p309–317
Published online: February 24, 2014


It is critical to employ accurate measures when assessing physical activity (PA) barriers in any subpopulation, yet existing measures are not appropriate for persons with blindness or visual impairment (PBVI) due to a lack of validity or reliability evidence.


To develop and calibrate a PA barrier scale for PBVI.


An expert panel (n = 3) and 18 PBVI were recruited to establish content validity for a PA barriers subscale; 160 PBVI (96 females) completed the scale along with the Physical Activity Scale for Individuals with Physical Disabilities for calibration. To establish construct-related validity evidence, Confirmative factor analysis (CFA) and Rasch analysis were applied. To investigate internal consistency and reliability, Cronbach’s alpha and the reliability coefficient (R) were employed, respectively.


Following CFA and Rasch analyses, five items were eliminated due to misfits; reliability coefficients were unchanged upon deletion of these items. The barriers perceived by PBVI to have the most negative impact on PA included “lack of self-discipline” (logit = 1.40) and “lack of motivation” (logit = 1.27). “Too many stairs in the exercise facility” (logit = −1.49) was perceived to have the least impact.


The newly-developed scale was found to be a valid and reliable tool for evaluating PA barriers in PBVI. To enhance promotion of health-producing levels of PA in PBVI, practitioners should consider applying this new tool as a precursor to programs aimed at improving PA participation in this group.