Mathias Lasgaard

Measuring mental well-being in Denmark: Validation of the original and short version of the Warwick-Edinburgh mental well-being scale (WEMWBS and SWEMWBS) and cross-cultural comparison across four European settings

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  • Vibeke Koushede, Statens Institut for Folkesundhed
  • ,
  • Mathias Lasgaard
  • Carsten Hinrichsen, Statens Institut for Folkesundhed
  • ,
  • Charlotte Meilstrup, Statens Institut for Folkesundhed
  • ,
  • Line Nielsen, The Council on Health and Disease Prevention
  • ,
  • Signe Boe Rayce, VIVE - The Danish Center for Social Science Research
  • ,
  • Manuel Torres-Sahli, Loughborough University
  • ,
  • Dora Gudrun Gudmundsdottir, The Directorate of Health in Iceland
  • ,
  • Sarah Stewart-Brown, University of Warwick, Medical School
  • ,
  • Ziggi Ivan Santini, Statens Institut for Folkesundhed

This study examined the psychometric properties of the Danish WEMWBS and its short version (SWEMWBS) in a Danish population sample, and compared scores in Denmark with scores representative of three other European settings. A total of 3,508 Danish men and women aged 16–95 filled out an electronic survey. Face validity was examined by cognitive interviews. Content validity was assessed by examining response distributions and construct validity by confirmatory factor analysis, measurement invariance, and relations to other or similar measures. Overall mental well-being scores were calculated, as well as stratified by sex and age. Support was found for the single-factor hypothesis, yielding good model fits for both versions of the scale. Both scales have high internal consistency. Correlations with mental health measures were largely in line with expectations. The highest mental well-being scores were reported for Catalonia, followed by Denmark, Iceland, and England. The (S)WEMWBS appear to be appropriate instruments to measure mental well-being in the Danish population. The present findings encourage the use of the scales, particularly SWEMWBS, in epidemiological, intervention and evaluation studies in research and practice. Cross-cultural comparisons like the one reported here may be essential to inform international mental health policy.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPsychiatry Research
Pages (from-to)502-509
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019
Externally publishedYes

    Research areas

  • Measurement, Mental health, Mental well-being, Public health

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