The Quality of Well-Being Scale
The Quality of Well-Being (QWB) scale, developed in the 1970’s, is a validated and well established tool used to calculate a comprehensive measure of a health-related quality of life and it can help estimate the quality adjusted life years (QALYs) as an expression of health outcome (Pickles, et al., 2019). The QWB can be used for The concept of the term, quality of life, is described as one’s own understanding of his/her lifestyle in the context of their social environment, the culture he/she lives in, and the desires in which suites their mental state (Moudjahid & Abdarrazak, 2019). An individual’s quality of life can change with a variety of reasons including social, environment, economic, physical etc.
The Quality of Well-Being Scale Psychometric Properties
Psychometric properties of the QWB include testing the impact of mode of administration on overall scores along with test-retest reliability (Kaplan, Ganiats, Sieber, & Anderson, 1999). QWB can be utilized before and after a treatment or intervention and can be described in terms of the QALYs that it produces or saves (Seiber, Groessl, David, Ganiats, & Kaplan, 2008). The QWB measure consists of segments for mobility, physical and social activity, and it is comprised of symptoms and problems, which allows for the scoring placement of each client on a continuum of wellness ranging from 0 to 1.0, for dead to asymptomatic (Seiber, Groessl, David, Ganiats, & Kaplan, 2008). The QWB scale can be used for population monitoring, descriptive studies of patient populations, cost effective analysis, societal perspective, and clinical trials to name a few.
The Quality of Well-Being Scale and the Efficacy of Psychopharmacologic Medications
It is well known that mental health is an important component to an individual’s well-being. There are several studies on testing the validity of a mental health subscale for the QWB. One study in particular shows that it is extremely difficult to test the efficacy of a psychopharmacologic medication for several reasons stemming from the fact that the QWB does not have a mental health subscale. This scale could be configured to be utilized regarding the symptoms of some mental health diagnoses; however, it appears that these symptoms are secondary to a primary illness ie: AIDS and depression.
Supporters of the QWB believe that even though there is not a mental health subscale, it can still be used to measure the quality of well-being in those with mental health disorders. There are studies that have shown similarities in scores when comparing the QWB with the Scales for the Assessment of Positive and Negative Symptoms (SAPS and SANS), and the Global Severity Index (GSI); however, this study was completed on patients with AIDS and who were also suffering from depression. Which came first, the chicken or the egg-depression or AIDS? All in all, while the QWB is an evidenced based practice scale and is widely used, it would be very difficult to test the efficacy of a psychopharmacologic medication.
Kaplan, R. M., Ganiats, T. G., Sieber, W. J., & Anderson, J. P. (1999). The quality of well-being scale: Critical similarities and differences with SF-36. International Journal for Quality in Health Care, 10(6), 509-520.
Moudjahid, A., & Abdarrazak, B. (2019). Psychology of quality of life and its relation to psychology. International Journal of Inspiration & Resilience Economy, 3(2), 58-63.
Pickles, K., Lancsar, E., Seymour, J., Parkin, D., Donaldson, C., & Carter, S. M. (2019). Accounts from developers of generic health state utility instruments explain why they produce different QALYs: A qualitative study. In Social Science & Medicine, 240.
Seiber, W. J., Groessl, E. J., David, K. M., Ganiats, T. G., & Kaplan, R. M. (2008). Quality of Well Being Self-Administered (QWB-SA) Scale. Retrieved from ucsd.edu: https://hoap.ucsd.edu/qwb-info/qwb-manual.pdf