Skip to main content

Development of WEMWBS

University pathThe Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-being scale was developed to enable the monitoring of mental wellbeing in the general population and the evaluation of projects, programmes and policies which aim to improve mental wellbeing.

WEMWBS was developed on funding provided by NHS Scotland in 2005. Development involved a review of concepts of mental wellbeing and existing scales, a UK validation of a promising candidate scale the Affectometer 2, and discussion with a panel of experts. Taking the Affectometer2 as a starting point, new items were developed, discussed and iterated until the 14 item scale was resolved for testing.

The original validation involved students in England and Scotland and a large representative sample of the general population in Scotland. The development was led by a team from the University of Warwick (Stewart-Brown, Weich, Clarke and others) working with the University of Edinburgh (Platt) and NHS Health Scotland (Parkinson).

A 7 item scale (the Shorter Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-being Scale SWEMWBS) which is RASCH compatible has been derived. This scale has been validated in the UK and Italy.

WEMWBS has been tested with young people (13-15yrs), minority populations (Chinese and Pakistani) and users of mental health services and their carers. All these groups have found WEMWBS easy to complete and reported that it provides a credible picture of mental wellbeing.

Users of mental health services and their carers have reported their preference for WEMWBS over other mental health scales.

Crawford MJ, Robotham D, Thana L, Patterson S, Weaver T, Barber R, Wykes T, Rose D: Selecting outcome measures in mental health: the views of service users. Journal of Mental Health 2011, 20(4):336–346.

Panel of experts who developed the WEMWBS Scale in 2007

Stephen Platt, Research Unit in Health, Behaviour and Change, School of Clinical Sciences & Community Health, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK,

Stephen Joseph, School of Sociology & Social Policy, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK,

Scott Weich, Warwick Medical School, University of Warwick, Coventry, UK,

Jane Parkinson, NHS Health Scotland, Glasgow, UK and Faculty of Health and Social Care, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge,

Jenny Secker, UKAnglia Ruskin University & South Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust.

Sarah Stewart-Brown, Warwick Medical School, University of Warwick, Coventry, UK,

Glyn Lewis, Professor of Psychiatric Epidemiology, Academic Unit of Psychiatry Oakfield House Oakfield Grove Bristol BS8 2BN

Stephen Stansfield, Professor of Psychiatry and Head of the Centre for Psychiatry at Barts and the London, Queen Mary University of London