Measuring depression with a well-being index: Further evidence for the validity of the WHO Well-Being Index (WHO-5) as a measure of the severity of depression

Krieger, Tobias; Zimmermann, Johannes; Huffziger, Silke; Ubl, Bettina; Diener, Carsten; Kuehner, Christine; Grosse Holtforth, Martin (2014). Measuring depression with a well-being index: Further evidence for the validity of the WHO Well-Being Index (WHO-5) as a measure of the severity of depression. Journal of Affective Disorders, 156(1), pp. 240-244. Elsevier 10.1016/j.jad.2013.12.015

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BACKGROUND: In recent years, the WHO Wellbeing Index (WHO-5) has been used as a screening measure for depression. Nevertheless, research on the validity of this measure in the context of clinical depression is sparse. QUESTIONS: The aim of the present study was to investigate the measurement invariance of the WHO-5 across depressed and non-depressed individuals, as well as the shape and specificity of its relationship to measures of depression severity. METHOD: Of the 414 subjects who completed the WHO-5 and the Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II), 207 had a diagnosis of a major depressive episode (MDE). A subsample also completed the Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI) and was assessed by clinicians using the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D) and the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HAM-A). RESULTS: The WHO-5 demonstrated strong measurement invariance regarding the presence or absence of a current MDE. The WHO-5 showed a very high negative association with self- and observer-rated measures of depressive symptoms, especially in the range of mild to moderate symptoms. These associations were still substantial after controlling for measures of anxiety symptoms. LIMITATIONS: In addition to a diagnostic interview, only one measure for self- and observer-rated symptoms of depression was used. Furthermore, the observer-rated measure was only assessed in one subsample that exhibited a somewhat restricted range of depression severity. CONCLUSION: Although this index was originally designed as a measure of well-being, the results support the use of the WHO-5 in the context of depression research.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy
07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology

UniBE Contributor:

Krieger, Tobias and grosse Holtforth, Martin

Subjects:

100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology
600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health

ISSN:

0165-0327

Publisher:

Elsevier

Language:

English

Submitter:

Adriana Biaggi

Date Deposited:

21 Apr 2015 15:47

Last Modified:

20 Oct 2015 09:57

Publisher DOI:

10.1016/j.jad.2013.12.015

PubMed ID:

24412323

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.66533

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/66533

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