International Psychogeriatrics

Research Article

Assessing mental well-being in family carers of people with dementia using the Warwick–Edinburgh Mental Well-Being Scale

Vasiliki Orgetaa1 c1, Elena Lo Sterzoa1 and Martin Orrella1

a1 Mental Health Sciences Unit, University College London, UK

ABSTRACT

Background: Understanding and measuring mental health and well-being among carers of people with dementia has become an important public health issue.

Methods: In the present study we used the Warwick–Edinburgh Mental Well-Being Scale (WEMWBS) to identify predictors of positive mental health in a convenience sample of family carers of people with dementia using a cross-sectional design.

Results: WEMWBS showed a negative correlation with anxiety and depressive symptoms, and a positive correlation with physical health status. Regression analyses indicated that overall nearly 70% of the variance in mental well-being in carers could be attributed to caregiver's age, physical health, stress specific to caregiving, and social support. Preliminary data show that the WEMWBS demonstrates strong internal consistency. Confirmatory factor analysis demonstrated one underlying factor of positive mental well-being.

Conclusions: WEMWBS is a psychometrically strong measure of mental well-being, and can be used to identify factors that promote positive mental health in family carers of people with dementia. Current results provide preliminary data supporting the usefulness of the scale as an overall indicator of population mental health and well-being for carers of people with dementia.

(Received November 26 2012)

(Reviewed January 30 2013)

(Revised May 01 2013)

(Accepted May 07 2013)

(Online publication June 19 2013)

Key words:

  • carers;
  • Warwick–Edinburgh Mental Well-Being Scale;
  • dementia;
  • caregiving;
  • mental well-being

Correspondence

c1 Correspondence should be addressed to: Dr Vasiliki Orgeta, Mental Health Sciences Unit, University College London, 67-73 Riding House Street, 2nd Floor, Charles Bell House, London W1W 7EJ, UK. Phone: 0044-020-7679-9294; Fax: 0044-020-7679-9426. Email: v.orgeta@ucl.ac.uk.