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Validation and psychometric properties of WEMWBS

Testimonial, quotationWEMWBS has been extensively validated in adult populations and both scales are psychometrically sound. WEMWBS has also been tested with

young people (13-15yrs), minority populations (Chinese and Pakistani) and users of mental health services and their carers. All of them share the opinion that WEMWBS is easy to complete and provides a credible picture of mental wellbeing. It is now being validated in a wide range of countries and cultures.

Mental health service users and their carers have been shown to prefer WEMWBS over other mental health scales (see here). A large study in Wales has suggested that SWEWMBS is valid in children and young people aged 11 years and upwards. SWEMWBS in Secondary Schools in Wales

Both the 14-item scale and the 7-item scale WEMWBS have been shown to be sensitive to the changes that occur in mental wellbeing promotion and mental illness treatment and prevention projects. Minimally important change has been estimated for both measures.

Various studies have shown that WEMWBS is normally distributed in the general population (although in some populations there is a slight tail at the lower end and or a slight ceiling effect at the upper end) and hence can be used in parametric analyses.

Comparisons of WEMWBS with scales of mental illness show a high level of correlation (0.6-0.9) in line with the single rather than dual continuum model (see conceptual framework underpinning WEMWBS).

Relevant publications

  • Neha Shah, Mizaya Cader, William Andrews, Sarah L Stewart-Brown Short Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-being Scale (SWEMWBS): performance in a clinical sample in relation to PHQ-9 and GAD-7. BMC Health and Quality of Life Outcomes (2021) 19:26
  • Tennant,R., Fishwick, R., Platt, S., Joseph, S., & Stewart-Brown, S. (2006). Monitoring positive mental health in Scotland: validating the Affectometer 2 scale and developing the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-being Scale for the UK, Edinburgh, NHS Health Scotland.
  • Tennant, R ., Hiller, L., Fishwick, R., Platt, S., Joseph, S., Weich, S., ... & Stewart-Brown, S. (2007a). The Warwick-Edinburgh mental well-being scale (WEMWBS): development and UK validation. Health and Quality of Life Outcomes, 2007; 5(1), 63.
  • Stewart-Brown, S., Tennant, A., Tennant, R., Platt, S., Parkison, J. & Weich, S. (2009) Internal Construct Validity of the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-being Scale (WEMWBS): A Rasch analysis using data from the Scottish Health Education Population Survey. Health and quality of life outcomes, 7:15
  • Stewart-Brown, S. L., Platt, S., Tennant, A., Maheswaran, H., Parkinson, J., Weich, S., ... & Clarke, A. (2011). The Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-being Scale (WEMWBS): a valid and reliable tool for measuring mental well-being in diverse populations and projects. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 65(Suppl 2), A38-A39.
  • Clarke, A., Friede, T., Putz, R., Ashdown, J., Martin, S., Blake, A., ... & Stewart-Brown, S. (2011). Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-being Scale (WEMWBS): validated for teenage school students in England and Scotland. A mixed-methods assessment. BMC Public Health, 11(1), 487.
  • Maheswaran, H., Weich, S., Powell, J., & Stewart-Brown, S. (2012). Evaluating the responsiveness of the Warwick Edinburgh Mental Well-Being Scale (WEMWBS): Group and individual level analysis. Health and Quality of Life Outcomes, 10(1), 156.
  • Taggart, F., Friede, T., Weich, S., Clarke, A., Johnson, M., & Stewart-Brown, S. (2013). Cross-cultural evaluation of the Warwick-Edinburgh mental well-being scale (WEMWBS)- a mixed methods study. Health and Quality of Life Outcomes, 11:27.
  • Neha Shah, Mizaya Cader, William Andrews, Dilini Wijesekera Sarah Stewart-Brown Responsiveness of the Short Warwick Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale (SWEMWBS); Evaluation in a Clinical Sample. Health and Quality of Life Outcomes 2018;16:239
  • Janhavi Ajit Vaingankar, Edimansyah Abdin, Siow Ann Chong, Rajeswari Sambasivam1, Esmond Seow, Anitha Jeyagurunathan, Louisa Picco, Sarah Stewart-Brown, Mythily Subramaniam. Psychometric properties of the Short Warwick Edinburgh Mental Well-being Scale (SWEMWBS) in service users with schizophrenia, depression and anxiety spectrum disorders. Health and Quality of Life Outcomes. (2017) 15:153
  • Marion Trousselard, Dominique Steiler, Frédéric Dutheil, Damien Claverie, Frédéric Canini, Sarah Stewart-Brown, and Franck Nicolas. Validation of the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-being Scale (WEMWBS) in French Psychiatric and General Populations. Psychiatry Research 2016;245: 282–290
  • Rebecca Johnson, David Jenkinson, Chris Stinton, Sian Taylor-Phillips, Jason Madan, Sarah Stewart-Brown, Aileen Clarke. Where’s WALY? : A proof of concept study of the ‘wellbeing adjusted life year’ using secondary analysis of cross-sectional survey data. Health and Quality of Life Outcomes 2016;14:126
  • Böhnke, J.R. and Croudace, T.J., 2016. Calibrating well-being, quality of life and common mental disorder items: psychometric epidemiology in public mental health research. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 209(2), pp.162-168.
  • Mendez-Torres GJ et al Measurement invariance proprerties and external construct validity of the short Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-being Scale in a large national sample of secondary schools students in Wales Health and Quality of Life Outcomes 2019;17:139

For papers validating WEMWBS in other countries and languages see this page.


Coventry Wellbeing Reports

Unpublished Reports