Article (Scientific journals)
The WHO-5 Well-Being Index – Validation based on item response theory and the analysis of measurement invariance across 35 countries.
Sischka, Philipp; Pinto Coelho da Costa, Andreia; Steffgen, Georges et al.
2020In Journal of Affective Disorders Reports
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Keywords :
WHO-5 Well-Being Index; Item response theory; Measurement invariance; Differential item functioning; Cross-cultural research; Short scale; Well-being; Depression
Abstract :
[en] Background: The five-item World Health Organization Well-Being Index (WHO-5) is a frequently used brief standard measure in large-scale cross-cultural clinical studies. Despite its frequent use, some psychometric questions remain that concern the choice of an adequate item response theory (IRT) model, the evaluation of reliability at important cutoffpoints, and most importantly the assessment of measurement invariance across countries. Methods: Data from the 6th European Working Condition survey (2015) were used that collected nationally representative samples of employed and self-employed individuals ( N = 43,469) via computer-aided personal interviews across 35 European countries. An in-depth IRT analysis was conducted for each country, testing different IRT assumptions (e.g., unidimensionality), comparing different IRT-models, and calculating reliabilities. Furthermore, measurement invariance analysis was conducted with the recently proposed alignment procedure. Results: The graded response model fitted the data best for all countries. Furthermore, IRT assumptions were mostly fulfilled. The WHO-5 showed overall and at critical points high reliability. Measurement invariance analysis revealed metric invariance but discarded scalar invariance across countries. Analysis of the test characteristic curves of the aligned graded response model indicated low levels of differential test functioning at medium levels of the WHO-5, but differential test functioning increased at more extreme levels. Limitations: The current study has no external criterion (e.g., structured clinical interviews) to assess sensitivity and specificity of the WHO-5 as a depression screening-tool. Conclusions: The WHO-5 is a psychometrically sound measure. However, large-scale cross-cultural studies should employ a latent variable modeling approach that accounts for non-invariant parameters across countries (e.g., alignment).
Disciplines :
Social, industrial & organizational psychology
Author, co-author :
Sischka, Philipp ;  University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences (FHSE) > Department of Behavioural and Cognitive Sciences (DBCS)
Pinto Coelho da Costa, Andreia ;  University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences (FHSE) > Department of Behavioural and Cognitive Sciences (DBCS)
Steffgen, Georges ;  University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences (FHSE) > Department of Behavioural and Cognitive Sciences (DBCS)
Schmidt, Alexander F.
External co-authors :
yes
Language :
English
Title :
The WHO-5 Well-Being Index – Validation based on item response theory and the analysis of measurement invariance across 35 countries.
Publication date :
2020
Journal title :
Journal of Affective Disorders Reports
ISSN :
2666-9153
Publisher :
Elsevier, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Peer reviewed :
Peer Reviewed verified by ORBi
Available on ORBilu :
since 16 December 2020

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