Psychiatric Rehabilitation Consultants (PRC): Consumers and Clinicians-Partners in Empowerment
Assessment Tools
Independent Living Skills Survey (ILSS)

Purpose: The ILSS is a detailed assessment of a client’s social and independent living skills.

Use: There are two versions of the ILSS; ILSS-SR is the client’s self-report, and ILSS-I is the report by a knowledgeable informant. The 103 items of the ILSS-I assess 12 areas of skills; personal hygiene (6 items), appearance and care of clothing (12 items), care of personal possessions and living space (9 items), food preparation (9 items), care of one's own health and safety (10 items), money management (10 items), transportation (7 items), leisure and recreational activities (13 items), job seeking (6 items), job maintenance (3 items), eating behaviors (9 items), and social interactions (9 items). The items describe relatively specific skills such as "washes hair twice a week," and informants indicate how frequently an individual has performed each skill within the past month on a 5 point scale, Never, Sometimes, Often, Usually, and Always. To accommodate the possibility that an individual may have only limited opportunities in some facilities to perform a skill (e.g., prepare one’s meals in a facility in which the staff prepare and serve meals), a sixth response option, No Opportunity, is included.

The ILSS-I is formatted as a closed-ended questionnaire, and can be conveniently administered in-person, by phone, or by mail. The answers are scored from 0 (never) to 4 (always), summed, and averaged per functional area ignoring those items answered "No Opportunity." An area is not scored, however, if three or fewer items are answered with other than the "No Opportunity" option.

The self-report version (ILSS-SR) was developed to offer a simplified version of the ILSS-I suitable for administration in typically busy clinical settings. The ILSS-SR was developed by selecting 51 items from the ILSS-I as particularly relevant for daily living, rephrasing the 51 for self-report, and simplifying the response scale to Yes/No. The time frame for each item is the past month. A third response option, "Not apply,” was added to account for variations in the opportunities offered by various living environments to perform a skill, and 10 items were added to increase coverage of several areas. The ILSS-SR was formatted as a questionnaire that requires from 20 to 30 minutes to complete. An interview version was also developed for individuals who have reading difficulties. The interviewer reads the items to the individual, and, if necessary, asks him/her to answer by pointing to one of the three responses options, all of which are written on a large card. The advantage of the interview format is that it can be administered during an individual's routine visit to a practitioner, and may provide opportunities to probe about significant events in the individual's living environment.

The interview format includes 9 additional items that ask for the interviewer’s ratings of various aspects of the individual's personal hygiene and appearance. The resulting 70 items are grouped into 10 areas; personal hygiene (12 items), appearance and care of clothing (9 items); care of personal possessions and living space (6 items), food preparation (7 items), care of one's own health and safety (7 items), money management (5 items), transportation (5 items), leisure and recreational activities (12 items), job seeking (4 items), and job maintenance (3 items). Scoring is the same as the ILSS-I; answers are summed (0=No, 1=Yes), and then averaged per functional area ignoring those items answered "Not Apply." An area is not scored, however, if three or fewer items are answered Yes or No.

Manual: The manual includes the current versions of ILSS-SR and ILSS-I, and the article that describes their psychometric characteristics. Special training is not needed to administer the ILSS since both versions are formatted as questionnaires with closed-ended items. However, if there are concerns about the reading skills of either the individual or the informant, it may be best to administer the Inventory by reading the questions to the interviewee and asking him/her to point to his/her response chosen from the response scale written on a card. Indeed, the instructions for the ILSS-SR assume that it will be administered as an interview.

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IIndependent Living Skills Survey (ILSS) AT04 $25.00

 

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