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Examples of research using WEMWBS

You can find below a sample of surveys and papers showing some of the study designs and settings in which WEMWBS has been used successfully. Some of these surveys include WEMWBS data which is available for public use. This list provides an illustration and is not exhaustive. (See How and where WEMWBS is used, Validation in different populations and Translations into other languages for further information.)



  • Scottish Health Survey from 2008 for adults (aged 16 years and above) and from 2012 for children (aged 13 to 15 years)
  • Scottish Prison Service 2007 Annual Prison Survey
  • All Scottish Government cross-sectional surveys from January 2012 as part of a set of core questions included in all these surveys


  • Health Survey for England 2010, 2011, 2012 for adults (aged 16 years and above)


  • British Social Attitudes Survey 2007
  • Understanding Society (panel study) wave 1 2009/10, wave 4 2012/13 and planned for waves 7 and 10 (SWEMWBS)
  • National Childhood Development Study (1958 Birth Cohort) 2008 sweep
  • The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons postal survey of members from 2006


  • North West mental wellbeing survey 2009, 2012/13 (SWEMWBS)
  • Coventry, Bolton, Dundee, Aberdeen, Guernsey and Nottingham regional household surveys

International use

  • European Social Survey
  • Iceland and Spain: large population surveys

Systematic Reviews

  • Lindert J, Bain PA, Kubzansky LD, Stein C. Well-being measurement and the WHO health policy Health 2010: systematic review of measurement scales. The European Journal of Public Health. 2015 Jan 23;25(4):731-40.
  • Kilgarriff-Foster A, O'Cathain A. Exploring the components and impact of social prescribing. Journal of Public Mental Health. 2015 Sep 21;14(3):127-34.
  • Theda Rose, Sean Joe, George Warren Brown, Ashlie Williams, Ryan Harris, Gail Betz, Sarah Stewart-Brown Measuring mental wellbeing amongst adolescents; a systematic review of instruments. Journal of Child and Family Studies 2017;26(9):2349-2362

RCTs and controlled studies

  • Powell J, Hamborg T, Stallard N, et al. Effectiveness of a web-based cognitive-behavioural tool to improve mental well-being in the general population: a randomized controlled trial., 2013.
  • Freeman D, Dunn G, Startup H, et al. Effects of cognitive behaviour therapy for worry on persecutory delusions in patients with psychosis (WIT): a parallel, single-blind, randomised controlled trial …. Elsevier, 2
  • Wendy Roberston Joanna Flemming Atiya Kamal Hamborg Thomas, Kamran A Khan Frances Griffiths, Saran Stewart-Brown, Nigel Stallard, Stavos Petrou, Douglas Simkiss, Elizabeth Harrison, Sung Wook Kim, Margaret Thorogood. Randomised controlled trial and economic evaluation of the 'Families for Health' Programme to reduce childhood obesity. Health Technology Assessment 2017;21:01
  • Johnson C, Burke C, Brinkman S, Wade T. Effectiveness of a school-based mindfulness program for transdiagnostic prevention in young adolescents. Behaviour research and therapy. 2016 Jun 30;81:1-1.

Quasi-Experimental studies

  • Lindsay G., Strand S, Davis H. et al. A comparison of the effectiveness of three parenting programmes in improving parenting skills, parent mental-well being and children's behaviour when implemented on a large scale in community settings in 18 English local authorities: the parenting early intervention pathfinder (PEIP) BMC Public Health 2011, 11:962
  • Collins J, Gibson A, Parkin S, Parkinson R, Shave D, Dyer C. Counselling in the workplace: How time‐limited counselling can effect change in well‐being. Counselling and Psychotherapy Research. 2012 Jun 1;12(2):84-92.
  • Crone DM, O'Connell EE, Tyson PJ, Clark‐Stone F, Opher S, James DV. ‘Art Lift’ intervention to improve mental well‐being: An observational study from UK general practice. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing. 2013 Jun 1;22(3):279-86.
  • Marselle MR, Irvine KN, Warber SL. Walking for well-being: are group walks in certain types of natural environments better for well-being than group walks in urban environments?. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2013 Oct 29;10(11):5603-28.
  • Johnson Rebecca, Robertson Wendy, Towey Marsha, Stewart-Brown Sarah, Clarke Aileen. Changes over time in fruit and vegetable consumption and physical activity in a community-based lifestyle intervention. A before and after study. Public Health 2017 PUHE-d-16-0053R1
  • Odou N, Vella-Brodrick D The Efficacy of Positive Psychology Interventions to Increase Well-Being and the Role of Mental Imagery Ability. 2011, Social Indicators Research: 1-19.

Prospective Studies

Cross Sectional Studies

  • Stewart-Brown S, Samaraweera PC, Taggart F, Kandala NB, Stranges S. Socioeconomic gradients and mental health: implications for public health. The British Journal of Psychiatry 2015; 206:461-5.
  • Stranges S, Samaraweera PC, Taggart F, Kandala NB, Stewart-Brown S. Major health-related behaviours and mental wellbeing in the general population. the Health Survey for England. BMJ Open. 2014;4(e005878).
  • Ng Fat L, Mindell J, Boniface S, Stewart-Brown S. Evaluating and establishing national norms for the Short Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-being scale (SWEMWBS) using the Health Survey for England. Quality of Life Research 2016 26(5):1129-1144
  • Blanchflower DG, Oswald AJ, Stewart-Brown SL. Is psychological wellbeing linked to the consumption of fruit and vegetables? Social Research Indicators 2012;114:785
  • Appelqvist-Schmidlechner K, Vaara J, Vasankari T, Häkkinen A, Mäntysaari M, Kyröläinen H. Relationship between different domains of physical activity and positive mental health among young adult men. BMC Public Health 20, 1116 (2020).

  • Tamminen N, Reinikainen J, Appelqvist-Schmidlechner K, Borodulin K, Mäki-Opas T, Solin P. (2020). Associations of physical activity with positive mental health: a population-based study. Mental Health and Physical Activity 18.

  • Appelqvist-Schmidlechner K, Tamminen N, Solin P (2019). Association between positive mental health and family background among young people in Finland. European Journal of Public Health 29 (Suppl. 4). DOI: 10.1093/eurpub/ckz187.044

  • Ziggi Ivan Santini, Sarah Stougaard, Ai Koyanag, Annette Kjær Ersbøll, Line Nielsen, Carsten Hinrichsen, Katrine R. Madsen, Charlotte Meilstrup, Sarah Stewart-Brown, Vibeke Koushede Predictors of high and low mental well-being and common mental disorders: findings from a Danish population-based study. European Journal of Public Health 202; 30: 503–509,

Mixed methods

  • Elliott J, Gale CR, Parsons S, Kuh D, HALCyon Study Team. Neighbourhood cohesion and mental wellbeing among older adults: A mixed-methods approach. Social Science & Medicine. 2014 Apr 30;107:44-51.
  • De Viggiani, Nick, Norma Daykin, Yvonne Moriarty, and Paul Pilkington. "Musical pathways: An exploratory study of young people in the criminal justice system, engaged with a creative music programme." (2013).
  • Reidy H, Webber M, Rayner S, Jones M. Evaluation of the Southwark Reablement Service. London, Kings College. 2013 May.

Discussion/opinion piece

  • Brazier J, Tsuchiya A. Improving cross-sector comparisons: going beyond the health-related QALY. Applied health economics and health policy. 2015 Dec 1;13(6):557-65.
  • Macdonald AJ, Fugard AJ. Routine mental health outcome measurement in the UK. International Review of Psychiatry. 2015 Jul 4;27(4):306-19.
  • Sarah Stewart-Brown. Measuring wellbeing: what does the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental-Wellbeing Scale have to offer integrated care. European Journal of Integrative Medicine 2015;7:384-388
  • Neha Shah, Diane Steiner, Stavros Petrou, Dr Rebecca Johnson Sarah Stewart Brown.
    Exploring the impact of the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-being scales on public health research and practice. 2018