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Well Being and How It Can Be Measured

BY: Boris Budosan | Category: Health | Submitted: 2013-06-02 03:32:58
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Article Summary: "Well being of an individual and a community depends on their needs and on how these needs are met. Generally, there are seven different aspects of well being which can be measured: 1) biological; 2) material; 3) social; 4) spiritual, 5) cultural; 5) emotional; 6) emotional and 7) mental. In Haiti post-earthquake, we measured wel.."


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Well being of an individual and a community depends on their needs and on how these needs are met. Generally, there are seven different aspects of well being which can be measured: 1) biological; 2) material; 3) social; 4) spiritual, 5) cultural; 5) emotional; 6) emotional and 7) mental. In Haiti post-earthquake, we measured well being of population before and after psychosocial intervention.

A 7-point well-being scale was used where 1 = much worse than before, and 7 = much better than before. We asked people questions related to:

1) their economic situation, i.e. how they are satisfied with their job, income and property);

2) their family situation, i.e. how they are happy with their family relations;

3) their social life, i.e. how they are happy with their friends and society;

4) their emotional life, i.e. how they feel most of the day;

5) their mental life, i.e. their thoughts most of the day and

6) their spiritual life. After the psychosocial intervention, improvement was calculated for all aspects of well-being.

The results showed that improvement has been achieved on each of the aspects of well-being, i.e. regarding economic situation (18.5%), family situation (34.5%), social situation (34.7%), emotional situation (28.5%), mental situation (29%) and spiritual situation (41.3%).

From this data, we concluded that the improvement of well-being after psychosocial intervention was mostly due to the improved spiritual, family and social situation of targeted beneficiaries, and least due to the improvement of their economic situation. Of course, all improvements of different aspects of well-being of targeted beneficiaries could not probably be attributed only to psychosocial intervention, but it would be also difficult to neglect its contribution in improving well-being. The results from the control group, e.g. the neighboring area with similar socioeconomic and demographic characteristics where psychosocial intervention has not been implemented would provide a better clarification on how much intervention really contributed to improved well-being of targeted beneficiaries. This could be a subject of maybe some research study in a future. Control groups could basically be selected for all targeted areas of psychosocial intervention, or maybe only for those randomly selected by any future researchers.

About Author / Additional Info:
I am a public health and mental health professional from Croatia with the worldwide experience in the implementation of humanitarian projects. So far, I was engaged in 21 project out of which 14 were related to mental health and psychosocial assistance.

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