Examining Evidence of Wellbeing indicators: A Practical Method of Assessment

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Despite the wide range of wellbeing frameworks utilised globally, no consensus exists regarding how a wellbeing framework might be assessed. This article aims to fill this gap by proposing a method of assessment to review potential indicators of wellbeing and then shows how this method can be used to assess evidence for a number of indicators. It answers the research question: what indicators have been successfully validated and applied in population settings? To identify the current evidence and any potential research gaps, we investigated key international and Australian frameworks on wellbeing. After identifying the wellbeing indicators used in these frameworks, we assessed the quality of evidence in the academic literature using three criteria: frequency of use, reliability and availability. We then made an overall assessment of the indicators’ practicality and usability weighing up both the quality of evidence and data availability. From the 96 indicators analysed, we identified 16 high usability indicators in the domains of economic, home, health, education and skills, and social and community. These indicators are household income, educational attainment, employment, unemployment, financial hardship, overcrowding, housing affordability, homelessness, life expectancy, self-reported health status, disability, smoking behaviour, mental health, cognitive skills, social network/support and volunteering. This practical method of assessment is not limited to wellbeing indicators and can also be applied in other settings, providing a useful tool for policymakers across the world.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-32
Number of pages32
JournalJournal of Well-Being Assessment
Publication statusPublished - 14 Oct 2021


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