Internal and external validity of the WHO Well-Being Scale in the elderly general population

Acta Psychiatr Scand. 1999 Mar;99(3):171-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0447.1999.tb00973.x.


The objectives of this study were (i) to evaluate the validity of the WHO Well-Being Scale in elderly subjects and (ii) to assess the influence of demographic variables on subjective quality of life. A sample of 254 elderly subjects completed the 22-item WHO Well-Being Scale. The scale had an adequate internal and external validity. However, the short 10-item and 5-item versions were equally valid. Low scores indicating decreased well-being were related to the presence of a psychiatric disorder or, independently, to poor living conditions. The Well-Being Scale and their short versions would appear to be useful instruments for identifying subjects with reduced subjective quality of life.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Female
  • Germany
  • Health Status Indicators
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / diagnosis
  • Mental Disorders / psychology
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Quality of Life*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • World Health Organization