Subjective well-being among primary health care patients

PLoS One. 2014 Dec 8;9(12):e114496. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0114496. eCollection 2014.


Background: The psychological importance of subjective well-being for a healthy life has been well recognized. It is also well known that depressive and anxiety disorders have a negative effect on subjective well-being. The aim of this cross-sectional, descriptive study was to assess the subjective well-being status of a group of primary healthcare patients in relation to socio-demographic characteristics, personal health and mood-status.

Methods: A total of 284 patients participated in the study. The Oxford Happiness Scale, Life Satisfaction Scale, DASS-42 (Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scales-42) and a questionnaire about socio-demographic characteristics were completed by the participants.

Results: In general, the participants were found to be moderately happy and satisfied with their lives. They had mild levels of depression, anxiety and stress. In terms of happiness, an older age (≥40 years), educated to secondary level or higher and not having depression or anxiety were found to be factors increasing happiness. In terms of life satisfaction, female gender, an older age (≥40 years), educated to secondary level or higher, being single and not having depression were found to increase life satisfaction.

Conclusion: Primary healthcare providers should give more importance to the mood status of their patients. Screening for depression and anxiety should be applied at the primary healthcare level because negative mood status is more important than some socio-demographic characteristics in respect of unhappiness and dissatisfaction.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anxiety
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depression
  • Emotions
  • Female
  • Happiness
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Personal Satisfaction
  • Primary Health Care*
  • Public Health Surveillance*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Stress, Psychological
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult

Grant support

The author(s) received no specific funding for this work.