Increasing a person’s independence and ability to participate in meaningful activities are key aims of neurorehabilitation, as greater participation is associated with better quality of life and general wellbeing. BIRT has developed a user-friendly measure of these outcomes over the years, and established its validity and reliability in a study recently published in Disability and Rehabilitation.
The current study investigated the psychometric properties of the BIRT Independent Living Scale (BILS), a tool designed to capture the levels of independence and participation following brain injury. The inter-rater reliability of two single-item, multiple-choice sub-scales: BILS-Accommodation and BILS-Occupation was examined by asking five pairs of graduate psychologists to use them in the assessment of a group of individuals who had been discharged from rehabilitation.
The scores on the two sub-scales were also compared to those obtained on other standardised measures of participation and independence, which had been administered by other members of the clinical team. It was found that reliability was moderate for the occupation sub-scale and high for the accommodation sub-scale, and both scales were associated with existing outcome measures, demonstrating the validity of the BILS.
The findings demonstrate that the BILS and can be utilised for capturing independent living ability and level of social participation before and after neurorehabilitation. Although there are other measures of outcome available, the BILS has the advantage of being very brief and useable retrospectively on the basis of information extracted from existing records.