Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale (WEMWBS)

What is the WEMWBS?

In addition to the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ), there is a range of alternative assessments and outcome measures which can be used to:

  1. Gain a snapshot
  2. Identify need
  3. Evaluate impact

One of these is the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale (WEMWBS).

WEMWBS is a widely used self-administered questionnaire designed to measure an individual’s mental wellbeing. Developed by researchers at the Universities of Warwick and Edinburgh, WEMWBS consists of 14 items that assess an individual’s positive mental health and wellbeing. There is also a Short 7-item version – the Short Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale (SWEMWBS).

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WEMWBS measures two broad dimensions of mental wellbeing: positive affect and psychological functioning.

  • Positive affect refers to the presence of positive emotions such as happiness, contentment, and satisfaction.
  • Psychological functioning refers to an individual’s ability to cope with life’s demands, including problem-solving and decision-making.

WEMWBS is designed to be quick and easy to complete, taking only a few minutes to complete. The scale is suitable for use with a wide range of populations, including adults and children, and has been validated in a number of different settings, including general populations, clinical populations, and workplace settings.

One of the key strengths of WEMWBS is its high level of reliability and validity. The scale has been shown to be a valid and reliable measure of mental well-being, with good internal consistency and stability over time.

Additionally, WEMWBS has been shown to have good construct validity, meaning that it measures what it claims to measure, and has been shown to be related to other measures of mental wellbeing, such as the World Health Organization’s Quality of Life Scale (QOLS).

WEMWBS is widely used by education, health and care professionals to assess mental wellbeing. For example, it has been used to assess the effectiveness of interventions designed to promote mental wellbeing, such as stress management programmes, physical activity programs, and therapeutic interventions.

The scale has been validated for use with children aged 13 and above, but has been used with children aged 11 and above.

The WEMWBS has been used in research around Teachers Mental Health including in the latest version of the Teacher Wellbeing Index 2022 by Education Support.

A world where every child and adult has access to the protection, support and resources to thrive in life.

Copyright: If the scale is reproduced, it must remain unaltered and include the copyright statement that appears with it – Warwick–Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale (WEMWBS) © NHS Health Scotland, University of Warwick and University of Edinburgh, 2006, all rights reserved.

Key Reference: Stewart-Brown, S., Tennant, A., Tennant, R., Platt, S., Parkinson, J., & Weich, S. (2009). Internal construct validity of the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale (WEMWBS): a Rasch analysis using data from the Scottish Health Education Population Survey. Health and Quality of Life Outcomes, 7, 15-22.

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