• Developed to assess life habits and handicap situations, which are concepts related to social participation. Life habits are defined as “those habits that ensure the survival and development of a person in society throughout his or her life” and they include activities ranging from ADL’s to social roles. A handicap situation is “a disruption in the accomplishment of a person’s life habits, taking into account age, sex and socio-cultural identity, resulting from impairments, disabilities or environmental factors”.
  • The LIFE-H includes 12 categories:
    1. Nutrition
    2. Fitness
    3. Personal care
    4. Communication
    5. Housing
    6. Mobility
    7. Responsibilities
    8. Interpersonal relationships
    9. Community life
    10. Education
    11. Employment
    12. Recreation

Clinical Considerations

  • The LIFE-H is a conceptually strong tool that incorporates the interaction of the individual and their environment, and thus, overlaps with the International Classification of Functioning (ICF).  Participation is based on the individual’s perspective of performance rather than describing it from a societal perspective.
  • Input was obtained from rehabilitation experts and individuals with SCI (children and adults) so items on this measure should be acceptable to individuals with SCI.

ICF Domain



  • Self or clinician-administered.
  • The response categories consider the level of difficulty (5 point ordinal scale) and the type of assistance (4 point ordinal scale) required to do each life habit.
  • Satisfaction for each item is reported using a 5-point scale (1 = very dissatisfied to 5 = very satisfied).
  • The long form requires 40 to 120 minutes to complete (depending on which sections are used) and the short form takes between 30 to 60 minutes.

Number of Items

Long form: 242 items, Short form: 77 items

The long form can be used as a whole or as sub-sections and the short form is a general measure of handicap.




  • The level of difficulty and the types of assistance are combined and weighted to derive an accomplishment score:
    (Σ Scores x 10)/(number of applicable life habits x 9).
  • Total scores for each life habit category range from 0-10.


French, English and Dutch.

Training Required



Available for purchase here.

Measurement Property Summary

Number of studies reporting psychometric properties: 4


Data from various SCI studies can provide some basis for comparison (see references and Interpretability section in Study Details sheet)

MCID: not established
SEM and MDC: not established for the SCI population, but for an older population with disabilities (n = 40, mean (SD) age= 76.5 (8.6), 11 male, 29 female):

LIFE-H Categories SEM: MDC:
Personal care 0.47 1.30
Nutrition 0.70 1.93
Housing 0.56 1.56
Mobility 1.03 2.85
Communication 0.55 1.52
Fitness 1.34 3.71
Daily activities subscore 0.24 0.67
Responsibility 0.40 1.10
Community life 0.78 2.17
Recreation 2.15 5.95
Interpersonal relationships
Social roles subscore 0.49 1.36
Total score 0.25 0.68

(Noreau et al. 2004)


Test-retest reliability is High for the LIFE-H Short Form for adults (Intaclass Correlation Coefficient = 0.83).

Test-retest reliability is Moderate for the LIFE-H Short form for children (Intaclass Correlation Coefficient = 0.67).

Test-retest reliability is Moderate for the LIFE-H total for adults (Intaclass Correlation Coefficient = 0.74).

Test-retest reliability is Moderate for the LIFE-H total for children (Intaclass Correlation Coefficient = 0.73).

(Fougeyrollas et al. 1998, Dumont et al. 2003)


Correlations between the LIFE-H and the CHART-Physical Independence subscale are High (Spearman’s r = 0.89).

Correlations between the LIFE-H and the CHART-Occupation subscale are Moderate (Spearman’s r = 0.36).

Correlations between the LIFE-H and the CHART-Mobility subscale are Moderate (Spearman’s r = 0.33).

Correlations between the LIFE-H and the CHART-Social integration subscale are Low (Spearman’s r = 0.14).

(Fougeyrollas et al. 1998, Noreau et al. 1998, Dumont et al. 2003)


No values were reported for the responsiveness of the LIFE-H for the SCI population.

Floor/ceiling effect

No values were reported for the presence of floor/ceiling effects in the LIFE-H for the SCI population.


Dr. Ben Mortenson, Kyle Diab, John Zhu

Date Last Updated

1 November 2016

Dumont C, Bertrand R, Fougeyrollas P, Gervais M. Rasch modeling and the measurement of social participation. J Appl Meas 2003;4:309-325.

Fougeyrollas P, Noreau L, Bergeron H, Cloutier R, Dion SA, St-Michel G. Social consequences of long term impairments and disabilities: conceptual approach and assessment of handicap. Int J of Rehab Res 1998;21:127-141.

Noreau L, Fougeyrollas P, Vincent C. The LIFE-H: Assessment of the quality of social participation. Technology and Disability 2002;14:113-118.

Noreau L, Fougeyrollas P. Long-term consequences of Spinal Cord Injury on social participation: The Occurrence of Handicap Situations. Disabil Rehabil 2000;22:170-180.

Noreau, L., Desrosiers, J., et al. (2004). “Measuring social participation: reliability of the LIFE-H in older adults with disabilities.” Disabil Rehabil 26(6): 346-352. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15204486/