Well-being

Information sheet 14 - World Health Organization Well-Being Index (WHO-5)

Name of the instrument

WHO-5 Well-Being Index

Abbreviation

WHO-5

Number of items

5

Terms of use

Public domain. The source must be mentioned (Psykiatric Center North Zealand, undated).

Language

English, French and 30-odd other languages

Data collection method

Self-report questionnaire, in hard copy, in person or by telephone.

Target population

Adolescents, adults and probably children 9 years of age and over, according to the study by Allgaier et al. (2012).

Interpretation of the results and thresholds

  • The instrument’s five items are ranked on a six-level scale (score range 0-5). The total maximum score is 25. The total score can be converted on a scale of 0 to 100 by multiplying the total score by 4. Zero represents the worst state of well-being and 100, the best state of well-being. This scale of 0 to 100 allows for comparisons with the SF-36.
  • Studies of the total population estimate the average score at roughly 70. Depressed patients awaiting treatment have a score of around 40. A threshold of 50 or less is recommended to detect depression.

Is the questionnaire available in the toolkit?

Yes, see Questionnaire 12.

Other versions

The WHO-5 is derived from the 28-item WHO Well-Being Scale, which measured the positive and negative aspects of well-being.

References

  • Allgaier, A.-K., Pietsch, K., Frühe, B., Prast, E., Sigl-Glöckner, J. and Schulte-Körne, G. (2012). Depression in pediatric care: is the WHO-Five Well-Being Index a valid screening instrument for children and adolescents? General Hospital Psychiatry, 34(3), 234-241.
  • Bech, P. (2004). Measuring the dimension of psychological general well-being by the WHO-5. Quality of life News letter, 16-17.
  • Psykiatric Center North Zealand. (undated). WHO-5 Questionnaires. Consulted at https://www.psykiatri-regionh.dk/who-5/who-5-questionnaires/Pages/default.aspx
  • Topp, C. W., Østergaard, S. D., Søndergaard, S. and Bech, P. (2015). The WHO-5 Well-Being Index: A systematic review of the literature. Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, 84(3), 167-176.

Information sheet 15 - Mental Health Continuum Short Form (MHC-SF)

Name of the instrument

Mental Health Continuum Short Form

Abbreviation

MHC-SF

Number of items

14

Terms of use

Protected, but it is possible to use it without requesting the authors’ permission provided that the source is mentioned (Keyes, 2009).

Language

English, French and at least six other translations

Data collection method

Self-report questionnaire, in hard copy, in person or by telephone.

Target population

Adolescents and adults

Interpretation of the results and thresholds

  • The instrument’s 14 items are ranked on a six-level scale (score range 0-5). The maximum total score is 70.
  • Flourishing mental health requires the response “almost every day” or “every day” to at least three questions on emotional well-being (items 1 to 3), and to at least six of the 11 questions on positive functioning (items 4 to 14). Languishing mental health requires the response “once or twice” or “never” to at least one of the three questions on emotional well-being, and to at least six of the 11 questions on positive functioning. Moderate mental health applies to all the other individuals, i.e. those whose mental health is neither flourishing nor languishing.

Is the questionnaire available in the toolkit?

Yes, see Questionnaire 13.

References

Last modified: 

January-12-21

How to cite: Canuel, M., Gosselin, P., Duhoux, A., Brunet, A., et Lesage, A. (2019). Post-Disaster Mental Health Impacts Surveillance Toolkit. Institut national de santé publique du Québec. Found at https://www.inspq.qc.ca/en/publications/2676(link is external).