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ERIC Number: EJ1127367
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Jan
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 13
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0897-5264
Using the WHO-5 Well-Being Index to Identify College Students at Risk for Mental Health Problems
Downs, Andrew; Boucher, Laura A.; Campbell, Duncan G.; Polyakov, Anita
Journal of College Student Development, v58 n1 p113-117 Jan 2017
There is a clear need for colleges to do a better job of identifying students who may benefit from treatment and encouraging those students to actually seek help (Hunt & Eisenberg, 2010). Indeed, research suggests that population-based screening can encourage college students who are at risk for mental health problems to seek treatment (Kim, Coumar, Lober, & Kim, 2011). Although there is a relative dearth of screening measures available for professionals who work with college students, several instruments have been developed for use by physicians to identify patients with medical concerns who are also experiencing mental health problems. One such measure is the World Health Organization Five Well-Being Index (WHO-5; Johansen, 1998). Although the WHO-5 measure was originally developed to assess the quality of life in patients suffering from diabetes, Topp, Østergaard, Søndergaard, and Bech (2015) found the measure to perform well as a screening tool for individuals at risk for depression. The WHO-5 is appealing as a screening measure because it contains only five items, is freely available in at least 31 languages, and is extremely easy to complete, score, and interpret. The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether the WHO-5 can be used to effectively identify individuals in the general college student population who are experiencing clinically significant symptoms of depression or anxiety. To that end, the authors evaluated the criterion validity of the WHO-5 by comparing respondent scores with reliable and valid measures of depression, anxiety, general psychological distress, and well-being. The authors hypothesized that the WHO-5 would prove to be a reliable and valid screening tool that could possibly be implemented in the college setting to identify students experiencing significant symptoms of depression and anxiety.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A