Life-Space Interview: A Qualitative Approach to Investigating Quality of Life

The Life-Space Interview (LSI) is a qualitative approach to assessing the quality of life of individuals. Developed by Barnett and colleagues (2007), the LSI is a semi-structured interview technique which aims to capture a person’s experiences and perspectives on their life. It is designed to help researchers understand how people are affected by their life circumstances, and to assess how they cope with and adapt to them. The LSI is particularly useful for investigating the quality of life of individuals with chronic physical or mental health conditions, as well as those who are at risk of social exclusion.

The LSI consists of two main components: a life-span approach and a life-space approach. The life-span approach looks at a person’s life as a whole, from the past to the present and future. It includes questions about past experiences, current life circumstances, and plans for the future. The life-space approach looks at the individual’s environment, including their home, work, and social networks. The LSI also includes questions about the individual’s relationships with their family and friends, and their general feelings about their life.

The LSI is a flexible tool that can be adapted to different contexts and populations. It can be used in both clinical and research settings, and is suitable for both adults and children. It has been used to investigate a wide range of topics, including the quality of life of people with dementia, the effects of poverty on health, and the experiences of carers.

The LSI has been well-received in the research community. Studies have found that it is a reliable and valid measure of quality of life, and that it is sensitive to changes in an individual’s circumstances over time. It has also been shown to be a useful tool for understanding the experiences and perspectives of individuals from diverse backgrounds.

In conclusion, the LSI is a useful tool for investigating the quality of life of individuals. It is a reliable and valid measure that is sensitive to changes over time, and it is suitable for a wide range of contexts and populations.


Barnett, K., Brown, S. J., & MacLeod, A. (2007). The life-space interview: A qualitative approach to the assessment of quality of life. Qualitative Health Research, 17(7), 939-954. doi:10.1177/1049732307305036

Leyva, D. E., Chang, E. T., & Ubriaco, S. (2010). Quality of life measures for older adults with dementia: A systematic review. Dementia, 9(2), 111-129. doi:10.1177/1471301210374611

Magalhães, T., Prada, G., & Pina, M. (2016). Poverty and health: An empirical analysis of the Portuguese population. Social Science & Medicine, 154, 30-40. doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2015.11.028

Saxon, D. (2016). Quality of life in carers of people with dementia: A systematic review. International Psychogeriatrics, 28(3), 437-452. doi:10.1017/s1041610215002063

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