Use of the LIFE-H in stroke rehabilitation: a structured review of its psychometric properties.

PURPOSE: To perform a structured review of the psychometric properties specific to the stroke population of the Assessment of Life Habits (LIFE-H). This tool measures quality of social participation, an important but under-evaluated aspect of stroke recovery.

METHOD: A structured review of publications at MEDLINE; Embase, CINAHL, and the Cochrane Library using the following terms: LIFE-H, life habits, psychometric properties, measurement properties, reliability, repeatability, validity, responsiveness, appropriateness, ceiling effects, and floor effects.

RESULTS: Eleven studies were identified specific to stroke. Test-retest reliability was excellent (Intraclass correlation coefficients [ICCs] ranging from 0.80 to 0.95). Inter-rater reliability ranged from adequate to excellent (r = 0.64-0.91) as well as agreement between responses of clients with stroke and their proxies (ICC ranging from 0.73 to 0.82). Convergent validity was adequate to excellent (r = 0.57-0.91) between the LIFE-H and two measures of functional independence. Two studies, one using patients and one using caregivers, suggest the LIFE-H is able to detect change over time.

CONCLUSIONS: The LIFE-H is a psychometrically sound measure of quality of social participation for use in post-stroke assessment and is responsive to change.