Guidance for Users

Input sheet guidance 

The input sheet is where you enter information about your wellbeing intervention. You can skip sections of the input sheet, according to the type of analysis you’re interested in, or whether you have the right data to input. All domains are ticked by default so you’ll need to untick them if you want to exclude them.

Once the input sheet is completed the WellWorth algorithms do their work and you get a report page with a summary of your results.

Section by section guidance

This rest of this page has guidance on each element of the Input sheet for users of the tool.  Click on the sections below to be directed straight to the guidance you need:


Expected length of wellbeing improvement

Types of wellbeing interventions

Types of analysis

Impact domains

Causal relationships only

Wellbeing data

Wellbeing indicator list

Population characteristics

Additional information about the intervention

Costs and Revenues of intervention



An identifier for your project. This title will show in the ‘saved projects’ section of the tool when you want to retrieve your information or view your results.

Expected length of wellbeing improvement

The expected length of the wellbeing improvement represents the number of years over which the costs and benefits of the intervention are taken into account to determine its effectiveness – the length of time that you expect and plan for the outcomes of a project to last. The maximum length is 25 years. Future values are discounted at the default value of 3.5%, as suggested for periods of 0-30 years by the HM Treasury – in other words the cost is discounted to the tune of 3.5% a year to reflect the time passing and any dilution of impact caused by that.

Types of wellbeing interventions

WellWorth allows for two types of wellbeing interventions:

  • directed to the general population
  • directed specifically to parents

The parent-specific intervention reflects the body of the literature that evidences a positive correlation between the wellbeing of family members and particularly on the results by Powdthavee and Vignoles (2008) analysing the transmission of wellbeing from parents to children.

The parent-specific intervention is useful if your intervention is support or prevention work directed solely at families.

Types of analysis

WellWorth offers you two different analysis options:

  • Entry versus exit level of wellbeing
  • Comparison with a reference area

The first option allows you to evaluate a wellbeing intervention by comparing the wellbeing of the population at the beginning of the project and the wellbeing at the exit of the project. In order to use this option you need to have baseline wellbeing data as well as exit data so that the comparison can be made.

The second option compares the wellbeing of the population of interest to the wellbeing of the same population of a benchmark city in the UK.  There is a drop down list of the benchmark UK cities for you to select from.

Please note that comparisons with a reference area are available only for wellbeing interventions directed to the general population, i.e. they cannot be combined with wellbeing interventions directed to parents
Impact domains

WellWorth allows you to select the policy areas to be included in your analysis. These are:

  • Direct wellbeing
  • Health
  • Social relations
  • Employment
  • Education
  • Environment
  • Crime

Please refer to domain evidence and assumptions for the assumptions guiding the results in each policy area.  You can switch each policy area on or off by unticking the relevant box, depending on whether you wish to include them in in your analysis.

Causal relationships only. The user can decide to include in the analysis only those policy areas for which the literature has found evidence of a causal relationship. Causal relationships are found in the following domains:

Health (mortality)

Social (voluntary work)

Employment (wage)

Wellbeing data

This is where you input your wellbeing data. If you are selecting option one you’ll need the wellbeing level of the population at entry and at exit, and in the case of a comparison to a benchmark area, you should to enter the wellbeing level of the population at a single point in time and to select the benchmark.

If you’d like more guidance on how to collect good quality wellbeing data please see our detailed Guides here

Your wellbeing information can come from any one of the wellbeing indicators on the following list (the range of the indicator is shown in brackets):

  • Life Satisfaction (0-10)
  • Worthwhile (0-10)
  • Happiness (0-10)
  • Anxiety (0-10)
  • ONS-4 total (0-40)
  • SWB-VAS (0-10)
  • WEMWBS (14-70)
  • SWEMWBS (7-35)
  • GHQ-12 (0-36)
  • GHQ positive (0-18)
  • GHQ negative (0-18)
  • SF-6D (derived from SF-12) (0-1)
  • SF-6D (derived from SF-36) (0-1)
  • EQ-5D-5L (-0.6 – 1)
  • ICECAP-O (0-1)
  • ICECAP-A (0-1)
  • EQ-VAS (0-10)

The following table explains the different wellbeing indicators in more detail:

Wellbeing indicator list.

Life Satisfaction: Office for National Statistics (ONS) overall life satisfaction question (0 to 10).

Worthwhile: ONS question measuring the extent to which the respondent feels the things she does in her life are worthwhile (0 to 10).

Happiness: ONS happiness question (0 to 10).

Anxiety: ONS anxiety question (0 to 10).

ONS-4 total: total score of the four ONS personal wellbeing questions. This measure ranges 0 to 40, with the anxiety question recoded in such a way that higher scores always reflect higher wellbeing levels.

SWB-VAS: Subjective Wellbeing – Visual Analogue Scale, measuring how “good or bad” respondent’s life is going from 0 to 100 (recoded to 0 to 10 in the Cross-Cutting group paper).

WEMWBS: Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-being Scale. This measure ranges from 14 to 70 and describes the frequency of the following positive feelings: feeling optimistic, useful, relaxed, interested in other people and in new things, full of energy, able to deal with problems, to think clearly, to make up one’s own mind, feeling good about oneself, close to others, confident, feeling loved and feeling happy.

SWEMWBS: Short Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-being Scale, ranging from 7 to 35 and covering the following states: feeling optimistic, useful, relaxed, able to deal with problems, to think clearly, to make up one’s own mind, and close to others.

GHQ-12: General Health Questionnaire, ranging from 0 to 36 and with higher scores reflecting lower levels of mental health. The GHQ takes into account six positive and six negative items: being able to concentrate, feeling useful, capable of making decisions, being able to enjoy every-day activities, feeling able to face problems and feeling reasonably happy, feeling worthless, feeling unhappy and depressed, unable to overcome problems, trouble sleeping, feeling under strain, and losing confidence.

The GHQ positive and negative measures range from 0 to 18 and include respectively the positive and the negative items only. Again, higher scores reflect lower levels of mental health.

SF-6D (derived from SF-12 and SF-36): Broad measure of health computed using the Short Form 12 or 36, reflecting “physical functioning, role limitations, social functioning, pain, mental health and vitality” (Mukuria et al. 2015, p. 16). It can range from 0 to 1, reflecting respectively death and full health. According to the descriptive statistics by Mukuria et al., the minimum level observed in the UK is approximately 0.3.

EQ-5D-5L: broad measure of health, covering the following five dimensions (5D): “mobility, self-care, usual activities, pain/discomfort and anxiety/depression” (ibid, p. 15). Each dimension is measured over five possible intensity level (5D). In the descriptive statistics by Mukuria et al., this indicator ranges from -0.6 to 1.

ICECAP-O (Investigating Choice Experiments Capability Measure for Older people) and ICECAP-A (Investigating Choice Experiments Capability Measure for Adults) are two wellbeing indicators à la Amartya Sen, measuring how elderly people and adults are doing with their life, from 0 to 1. The two indicators capture wellbeing in different domains, including among others attachment and enjoyment.

EQ-VAS: another Visual Analogue Scale, but measuring how “good or bad” respondent’s health (rather than life) is going from 0 to 100 (recoded to 0 to 10 in the Cross-Cutting group paper).  Additional information can be found in Mukuria et al. 2015.

WellWorth includes a conversion algorithm, which allows you to translate any wellbeing indicator into life satisfaction points. The conversion tool is designed in such a way that when the wellbeing indicator is at its minimum, life satisfaction is equal to zero.

For more details on the conversion tool, please see domain evidence and assumptions.

Population characteristics

Here you can enter the following information about the population undergoing the wellbeing intervention:

  • size
  • age profile (under 18, 18-34, 35-49, 50-64, 65+)
  • employment rate by age group

In the case of interventions directed to parents, the population size refers to the number of parents undergoing the intervention. For the population age profile and employment rate, default values are derived using respectively UK data from ONS Population Estimates and ONS Labour Market Statistics.  If you do not have the project specific age profile and employment rate, then the default values are used instead.

In order to keep complexity to a minimum WellWorth does not account for changes in the age structure and employment rates of the population over the time frame of the analysis.

You can also input data on both Absenteeism and Staff Turnover. You are only likely to have this information if your intervention is specifically aimed at an employment related support need and outcome.

Additional information about the intervention.

If your project is relevant to both or either of the following domains, and you are interested to know the impact:

  • Employment
  • Education
  • Environment
  • Physical activity


The effect of wellbeing on employment is evaluated in terms of its effect on:

  • Wages
  • Absenteeism and turnover

You are only likely to have this information if your intervention is specifically aimed at an employment related support need and outcome.


The education module applies to those who have not taken their GCSEs exams yet. Given the difficulty in establishing causality in the relationship between wellbeing and educational achievements, the user is asked to state whether the wellbeing intervention has an impact on educational achievement. If there is an impact, WellWorth requires the information about the percentage of students achieving 5+ GCSEs awarded A*-C at entry and at exit. A default value for the percentage at entry is derived from a report by the Department for Education (2011). Using population statistics estimates, WellWorth will compute the proportion of the population that will take their GCSEs during the time frame of the analysis.

Following the assumptions of the tool, WellWorth will automatically compute the “Total value of the improved achievement in GCSEs measured in terms of increase in lifetime productivity”.


The user needs to state whether the wellbeing intervention has an environmental impact, and in particular whether there will be a carbon saving or increase. Following the assumptions presented in Section 2, WellWorth automatically computes the “Total value of carbon saved or lost”.

Physical activity

The model asks whether the wellbeing intervention has had an impact on physical activity. The calculation relates to adults only. You’ll need to have data on the initial average minutes per week of moderate walking, and the average additional minutes/week of moderate walking which have come about as part of the intervention.

Costs and Revenues of intervention.

The final section asks you to input information about the costs and revenues of the wellbeing intervention.

WellWorth takes into account capital costs, running costs (operation and maintenance costs) and revenues. Running costs and revenues are assumed to be constant over the entire time frame. Your are asked the specify the number of years over which capital costs are spread. You are also asked whether and the extent to which the wellbeing intervention is grant funded from public money.  

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