The Well-Being 5: Development and Validation of a Diagnostic Instrument to Improve Population Well-being

Published in Population Health Management

Authors: Sears, LE, Agrawal, S, Sidney, JA, Castle, PH, Rula, EY, Coberley, CR, Witters, D, Pope, JE, Harter, JK

Building upon extensive research from 2 validated well-being instruments, the objective of this research was to develop and validate a comprehensive and actionable well-being instrument that informs and facilitates improvement of well-being for individuals, communities, and nations. The goals of the measure were comprehensiveness, validity and reliability, significant relationships with health and performance outcomes, and diagnostic capability for intervention. For measure development and validation, questions from the Well-being Assessment and Wellbeing Finder were simultaneously administered as a test item pool to over 13,000 individuals across 3 independent samples. Exploratory factor analysis was conducted on a random selection from the first sample and confirmed in the other samples. Further evidence of validity was established through correlations to the established well-being scores from the Well-Being Assessment and Wellbeing Finder, and individual outcomes capturing health care utilization and productivity. Results showed the Well-Being 5 score comprehensively captures the known constructs within well-being, demonstrates good reliability and validity, significantly relates to health and performance outcomes, is diagnostic and informative for intervention, and can track and compare well-being over time and across groups. With this tool, well-being deficiencies within a population can be effectively identified, prioritized, and addressed, yielding the potential for substantial improvements to the health status, performance, and quality of life for individuals and cost savings for stakeholders.

Key Takeaways:

  • The Well-Being 5 instrument combines the content, predictive capabilities, actionability and insights from millions of responses from two leading well-being instruments — the Health- ways Well-being Assessment and the Gallup Well-being Finder — to most efficiently and effectively enable and inform business cost and performance management.
  • The survey captures the five interrelated elements of well-being, which have demonstrated meaningful relationships to business and individual outcomes — physical, social, community, financial and purpose well-being.
  • The Well-Being 5 instrument can be used to effectively predict future cost and performance issues, identify high risk individuals, direct policy, drive intervention programs, and track individual and population well-being over time.
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