UMass Chan Medical School Faculty Publications


Life-Space Assessment Predicts Hospital Readmission in Home-Limited Adults

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Quantitative Health Sciences

Publication Date


Document Type



Epidemiology | Geriatrics | Health Services Administration


OBJECTIVES: To describe the association between restricted life-space and characteristics of community-dwelling adults hospitalized for congestive heart failure (CHF) or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), to estimate the effect of hospitalization on postdischarge mobility, and to determine whether baseline restricted life-space predicts hospital readmission.

DESIGN: Observational.

SETTING: Urban academic hospital that serves as a safety net for urban and rural populations with low resources and serves central and northern Alabama.

PARTICIPANTS: Individuals with CHF or COPD hospitalized from home (N = 478).

MEASUREMENTS: The Life-Space Assessment (LSA) measures mobility by asking about movement in situations ranging from within one's dwelling to beyond one's town. LSA scores below 60 correspond to "restricted life-space." Baseline LSA scores before admission were measured during an index hospitalization; follow-up LSA scores were determined over the telephone at 90 days. Participant characteristics were examined according to baseline restricted life-space using the chi-square test and Student's t-test. Each characteristic's association with restricted life-space was estimated uisng logistic regression.

RESULTS: Of the participants, 372 (77.8%) were classified as having baseline restricted life-space. Baseline restricted life-space was associated with older age (odds ratio (OR) = 1.29 per decade, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.17-1.42, P = .001), female sex (OR = 2.69, 95% CI = 1.69-4.29, P < .001), African-American race (OR = 1.55, 95% CI = 1.00-2.41, P = .05), and having inadequate financial resources (OR = 2.03, 95% CI = 1.22-3.38, P = .006). In the baseline unrestricted life-space group, 49.5% (n = 49) had restricted life-space at 90-day follow-up. Baseline restricted life-space was associated with greater odds of 90-day hospital readmission (unadjusted OR = 1.64, 95% CI = 1.00-2.70, P = .05; adjusted OR = 1.72, 95% CI = 1.04-2.85, P = .03).

CONCLUSION: Baseline restricted life-space was associated with greater risk of hospital readmission within 90 days after hospital discharge. These findings suggest a need to customize the management of individuals hospitalized with CHF or COPD based on baseline life-space level.


frail elderly, homebound persons, hospital readmission, mobility limitation

DOI of Published Version



J Am Geriatr Soc. 2017 May;65(5):1004-1011. doi: 10.1111/jgs.14739. Epub 2017 Feb 2. Link to article on publisher's site

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of the American Geriatrics Society

PubMed ID