BACKGROUND: The Life-Space Assessment (LSA), developed in the USA, is an instrument focusing on mobility with respect to reaching different areas defined as life-spaces, extending from the room where the person sleeps to mobility outside one's hometown. A newly translated Swedish version of the LSA (LSA-S) has been tested for test-retest reliability, but the validity remains to be tested. The purpose of the present study was to examine the concurrent validity of the LSA-S, by comparing and correlating the LSA scores to other measures of mobility.
METHOD: The LSA was included in a population-based study of health, functioning and mobility among older persons in Sweden, and the present analysis comprised 312 community-dwelling participants. To test the concurrent validity, the LSA scores were compared to a number of other mobility-related variables, including the Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB) as well as "stair climbing", "transfers", "transportation", "food shopping", "travel for pleasure" and "community activities". The LSA total mean scores for different levels of the other mobility-related variables, and measures of correlation were calculated.
RESULTS: Higher LSA total mean scores were observed with higher levels of all the other mobility related variables. Most of the correlations between the LSA and the other mobility variables were large (r = 0.5-1.0) and significant at the 0.01 level. The LSA total score, as well as independent life-space and assistive life-space correlated with transportation (0.63, 0.66, 0.64) and food shopping (0.55, 0.58, 0.55). Assistive life-space also correlated with SPPB (0.47). With respect to maximal life-space, the correlations with the mobility-related variables were generally lower (below 0.5), probably since this aspect of life-space mobility is highly influenced by social support and is not so dependent on the individual's own physical function.
CONCLUSION: LSA was shown to be a valid measure of mobility when using the LSA total, independent LS or assistive LSA.
2016. Vol. 16, 181