WHO Five Wellbeing Index
In 1982 the WHO European Regional Office initiated a European multicenter trial of two different insulin deliverance methods. One of the study objectives was to compare well-being and quality of life in connection with each treatment.
For this purpose a 28-item WHO Well-Being Questionnaire was developed to assess both positive and negative well-being. Further analysis identified ten items in the 28-item WHO questionnaire which belonged to an overall index of positive and negative well-being in a single uni-dimensional scale.
This resulted in the WHO (Ten) Well-Being. A subsequent examination of the WHO-Ten revealed that five of the items focused on being interested in things, while one item (being depressed) was indicative of negative well-being.
In a measure of positive quality of life it is important to avoid symptom-related language and to use only positively phrased questions. The previously mentioned five items covering being interested in things were collapsed to one: “My daily life has been filled with things that interest me” while the negatively phrased item was changed to the positively phrased: “I have felt cheerful and in good spirits”. This resulted in the WHO-5 Well-Being Index.
The WHO-5 was first presented by the WHO Regional Office in Europe at a 1998 WHO meeting in Stockholm as an element in the DEPCARE project on the measures of well-being in primary health care. Since this time the WHO-5 has been validated in a number of studies with regard to both clinical and psychometric validity.
The WHO-5 is available in the following languages: Albanian, Arabic, Bulgarian, Chinese (Mandarin), Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Farsi, Filipino, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Icelandic, Italian, Japanese, Lithuanian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Turkish, Urdu
Ref. Bech P. Clinical Psychometrics , Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, 2012