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WHO (Five) Well-Being Index

WHO (Five) Well-Being Index (1998 version)


The World Health Organisation – Five (WHO-5) Well-Being Index is a short self-reported measure of current mental wellbeing.

The measure was first introduced in the present form in 1998 by the WHO Regional Office in Europé as part of the DEPCARE project on well-being measures in primary health care.

Psychometric properties

The WHO-5 has been found to have adequate validity in screening for depression and in measuring outcomes in clinical trials. Item response theory analyses in studies of younger persons and elderly persons indicate that the measure has good construct validity as a undimensional scale measuring well-being in these populations.


The WHO-5 is suitable for children aged 9 and above.


The WHO-5 has been translated into more than 30 languages.


The WHO-5 is a short questionnaire that can be reported by children and young people and administered in a variety of settings.

Scoring and interpretation

Please indicate for each of the five statements which is closest to how you have been feeling over the last two weeks. Notice that higher numbers mean better well-being.

Example: If you have felt cheerful and in good spirits more than half of the time during the last two weeks, put a tick in the box with the number 3 in the upper right corner.

 Over the last two weeksAll of the timeMost of the timeMore than half of the timeLess than half of the timeSome of the timeAt no time
1I have felt cheerful and in good spirits543210
2I have felt calm and relaxed543210
3I have felt active and vigorous543210
4I woke up feeling fresh and rested543210
5My daily life has been filled with things that interest me543210


The raw score is calculated by totalling the figures of the five answers. The raw score ranges from 0 to 25, 0 representing worst possible and 25 representing best possible quality of life.

To obtain a percentage score ranging from 0 to 100, the raw score is multiplied by 4. A percentage score of 0 represents worst possible, whereas a score of 100 represents best possible quality of life.


It is recommended to administer the Major Depression (ICD.10) Inventory if the raw score is below 13 or if the patient has answered 0 to 1 to any of the five items. A score below 13 indicates poor wellbeing and is an indication for testing for depression under ICD-10.

Monitoring change:

In order to monitor possible changes in wellbeing, the percentage score is used.  A 10% difference indicates a significant change.

Psychiatric Research Unit, WHO Collaborating Center for Mental Health, Frederiksborg General Hospital.


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