Inter-rater reliability and test-retest reliability of the Performance and Fitness (PERF-FIT) test battery for children: a test for motor skill related fitness

Background The Performance and Fitness (PERF-FIT) test battery for children is a recently developed, valid assessment tool for measuring motor skill-related physical fitness in 5 to 12-year-old children living in low-income settings. The aim of this study was to determine: (1) inter-rater reliability and (2) test-retest reliability of the PERF-FIT in children from 3 different countries (Ghana, South Africa and the Netherlands). Method For inter-rater reliability 29 children, (16 boys and 13 girls, 6–10 years) were scored by 2 raters simultaneously. For test–retest reliability 72 children, (33 boys and 39 girls, 5–12 years) performed the test twice, minimally 1 week and maximally 2 weeks apart. Relative and absolute reliability indices were calculated. ANOVA was used to examine differences between the three assessor teams in the three countries. Results The PERF-FIT demonstrated excellent inter-rater reliability (ICC, 0.99) and good test-retest reliability (ICC, ≥ 0.80) for 11 of the 12 tasks, with a poor ICC for the Jumping item, due to low spread in values. A significant difference between first and second test occasion was present on half of the items, but the differences were small (Cohen’s d 0.01–0.17), except for Stepping, Side jump and Bouncing and Catching (Cohen’s d 0.34, 0.41 and 0.33, respectively). Overall, measurement error, Limits of Agreement and Coefficient of Variation had acceptable levels to support clinical use. No systematic dissimilarities in error were found between first and second measurement between the three countries but for one item (Overhead throw). Conclusions The PERF-FIT can reliably measure motor skill related fitness in 5 to 12-year-old children in different settings and help clinicians monitor levels of fundamental motor skills (throwing, bouncing, catching, jumping, hopping and balance), power and agility.