By Alyssa Protsman, MS, CWP, National Wellness Institute

What are the tenents of an effective wellness assessment tool that is both valid and reliable?

This is the question researchers Christina Peterson and Louis Rocconi, from University of Tennessee, Knoxville had when they set out to design a brief salutogenic-focused tool to measure subjective experiences of wellness. “Tools like this are necessary to help assess individual wellness needs and evaluate existing wellness programs, as well as to help elicit personal reflection and dialogue between wellness practitioners and participants”, Christina Peterson, PhD, Research Consultant-Statistics & Quantitative Methods, University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

After the initial development of the new 46-question assessment model, the survey is being distributed to a test group of adults inside the United States. Participants of this study are invited to complete the brief online survey regarding how they feel about different aspects of their life.

What sets this wellness assessment apart?

  1. It is a brief inventory of questions that measure what matters. Many existing tools are too long and can result in a disengaged participant.
  2. Questions measure subjective experiences of wellness in all Six Dimensions of Wellness in contrast to a behavioral inventory that looks at pre-defined “healthy habits.”
  3. It focuses on self-determination (all assessment items are within the individual’s locus of control).
  4. The survey is designed with a salutogenic focus, meaning the assessment is intended to measure wellness and thriving rather than disease risk.
  5. The survey response set is unidirectional (respondents select between a scale of not characteristic of me at all to extremely characteristic of me), as opposed to having a bi-directional response set (one in which participants fall between two opposing stances, such as between strongly agree or strongly disagree).
  6. Additionally, all survey items are positively worded rather than a mix of positive and negative.

Aggregate results of the study will be published inside the NWI Journal.

For more information about the study or if you wish to participate or share the survey with your friends, family, or workplace, please contact the study Principal Investigator, Christina Peterson, PhD, at