The Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-being Scale (WEMWBS) is a scale of 14 positively worded items for assessing a population´s mental wellbeing. We commissioned Warwick and Edinburgh Universities to develop WEMWBS in 2006 to support work to develop Scottish mental health indicators.

WEMWBS is suitable for adults aged 16 and above and also for use at a population level in teenagers aged 13 years and over in samples of over 100.

A shortened version the Short Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-being Scale (SWEMWBS), with 7 items is also available.

This page explains the national use, development and testing of WEMWBS.

Warwick University Medical School’s WEMWBS pages provide information on

  • uses of WEMWBS
  • registering to use WEMWBS
  • user guides and templates
  • other languages and developing new translations
  • scoring and interpretations of scores
  • availability of data
  • WEMWBS 14 item scale and the 7 item scale.

The user guides include a Practice Based User Guide.

Copyright information

You must register before use, and if reproduced include the copyright statement, make no changes to the scale, wording or layout and  include in any report the statement of development and ownership found in the User Guide (external website) Appendix vii, Conditions of using WEMWBS.

National use

You can use WEMWBS data which has been collected nationally for research and to provide population norms for comparison. These include

Development and testing

In 2006, we commissioned Warwick and Edinburgh Universities to develop a scale for assessing a population’s mental wellbeing (adults aged 16 years and above). This WEMWBS scale covers both aspects of mental wellbeing - feelings and functioning aspects of mental wellbeing. It was validated with both student and general adult populations in the UK.

Further testing showed that it is possible to create a 7 item version, SWEMWBS. This presents a more restricted view of mental wellbeing than the 14 item WEMWBS, although the scores from the two scales are highly correlated.

You can read more information on this research below

We also commissioned Warwick and Edinburgh Universities to test the suitability of using WEMWBS with children aged 13 to 16. This work, the WAVES project, was carried out in 6 schools in Scotland and England between March 2008 and October 2009.

You can read more information on the research in the WAVES Project report. The validation research is also published in a BMC Public Health journal article BMC Public Health 2011 11 487.

Information on subsequent testing and research (external link) is available on the Warwick University’s Medical School website.