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Personal Wellbeing Score (PWS) - A short version of ONS4: Development and validation in social prescribing

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Aims Our aim was to develop a short generic measure of subjective well-being for routine use in patient-centred care and healthcare quality improvement alongside other patient-reported outcome and experience measures. Methods The Personal Wellbeing Score (PWS) is based on the Office of National Statistics (ONS) four subjective well-being questions (ONS4) and thresholds. PWS is short, easy to use and has the same look and feel as other measures in the same family of measures. Word length and reading age were compared with eight other measures. Anonymous data sets from five social prescribing projects were analysed. Internal structure was examined using distributions, intra-item correlations, Cronbach's α and exploratory factor analysis. Construct validity was assessed based on hypothesised associations with health status, health confidence, patient experience, age, gender and number of medications taken. Scores on referral and after referral were used to assess responsiveness. Results Differences between PWS and ONS4 include brevity (42 vs 114 words), reading age (9 vs 12 years), response options (4 vs 11), positive wording throughout and a summary score. 1299 responses (60% female, average age 81 years) from people referred to social prescribing services were analysed; missing values were less than 2%. PWS showed good internal reliability (Cronbach's α=0.90). Exploratory factor analysis suggested that all PWS items relate to a single dimension. PWS summary scores correlate positively with health confidence (r=0.60), health status (r=0.58), patient experience (r=0.30) and age group (r=0.24). PWS is responsive to social prescribing intervention. Conclusions The PWS is a short variant of ONS4. It is easy to use with good psychometric properties, suitable for routine use in quality improvement and health services research.




Benson, T., Sladen, J., Liles, A., & Potts, H. W. W. (2019). Personal Wellbeing Score (PWS) - A short version of ONS4: Development and validation in social prescribing. BMJ Open Quality, 8(2).

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