What is the BLESID?
In collaboration with Prof. Richard Hastings at Bangor University, I have worked on developing a semi-structured schedule which can be used to assess the pertinent life events experienced by someone with an intellectual disability. There are two versions, one for use with a carer or friend who knows the person well, and another for direct self-report. Both versions can be downloaded below.
A Note on Usage
If you’d like to use the BLESID as part of your clinical practice, please feel free to download it below, and to contact me regarding upcoming publications regarding its use. Whilst it is not a diagnostic tool, it may be of some use as a screening tool. The proxy informant version refers to a wider range of life events than the self-report version, principally due to the comments of various research ethics committees. I’m also keen to support people in using the BLESID in research. Neither I nor Bangor University (the copyright holder) have expressed any desire to start charging for the use of the measure. I would, of course, love to hear about your research, and if possible to have access to any data collected using the BLESID so that it might be further developed.
Conceptually, the BLESID is a combination of two approaches to stress measurement. On the one hand, it collects data on the experience of certain objectively defined life events (bereavement, changing job, etc), which fits in with the classic ‘life events’ literature in psychology and psychiatry. The assumption here is that such events are usually stressful, that in a sense ‘stress’ resides in the environment, and in our case that such measurement is often easier in cases where verbal communication is more challenging. Contrariwise, the BLESID also tips its hat to the ‘appraisal’ or ‘cognitive’ approach to stress and attempts to collect data on how stressful the individual in question actually found a given event.
Given that life events are conceptually independent of one another, there is no prima facie reason to expect the items on the BLESID to be internally consistent (as usually measured by alpha and so on). Unfortunately, no data are available as yet on the reliability of the BLESID scale, however, we do have data (in prep. for publication) showing that the BLESID total scores tend to correlate well with various types of psychological problems (e.g. affective disorder scale scores), suggesting both versions of the BLESID measure life events in a valid way.
Translation into Danish
The BLESID has been translated into Danish by Per Lindsø Larsen, and is the focus of further work. An article on the translation process can be downloaded here:
The translated version of the BLESID can be downloaded below.
The BLESID has been used by a number of clinical and research teams around the world.
- S. Wigham, J. L. Taylor and C. Hatton: A prospective study of the relationship between adverse life events and trauma in adults with mild to moderate intellectual disabilities
- Lee Hulbert-Williams, Richard P. Hastings, Rachel Crowe, Jemma Pemberton: Self-Reported Life Events, Social Support and Psychological Problems in Adults with Intellectual Disabilities
- L. Hulbert-Williams, R. Hastings, D. M. Owen, L. Burns, J. Day, J. Mulligan and S. J. Noone: Exposure to life events as a risk factor for psychological problems in adults with intellectual disabilities: a longitudinal design
- S. Wigham, C. Hatton, J.L. Taylor: The Lancaster and Northgate Trauma Scales (LANTS): The development and psychometric properties of a measure of trauma for people with mild to moderate intellectual disabilities
- Muir, Amanda (2013) Prospective study of the mental ill-health of adults with intellectual disabilities: outcomes and predictive determinants. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.
BLESID in English:
BLESID in Danish (translated by Dr Per Lindsø Larsen):