Research: BELL and colleagues,

Listed in Issue 112


BELL and colleagues, Program in Integrative Medicine, The University of Arizona College of Medicine, Tucson, AZ, USA,, have developed a new global wellbeing scale for research in integrative medicine.


The aim of the work was to develop a new instrument for measuring wellbeing in complementary, alternative and integrative medicine research.


The new one-item visual analogue Arizona Integrative Outcomes Scale (AIOS) was developed and tested in three studies. The scale tests for physical, emotional, mental, social and spiritual wellbeing over the last 24 hours and the last month. Study 1 tested the scale's ability to distinguish between 50 healthy and 50 unhealthy outpatients in a rehabilitation clinic. Study 2 aimed to assess the validity of the new scale by comparing scores to psychological distress as measured by Brief Symptoms Inventory in 458 undergraduate students. Study 3 compared AIOS scores with Positive and Negative Affect Scale and Positive States of Mind Scale scores in a different sample of 62 undergraduates.


Study 1 found that unhealthy patients scored significantly lower on all scales than healthy controls. Healthy controls had a higher degree of consistency between the 24 hour-scale and the 1-month scale, which ties in with the fact that patients in the rehabilitation unit were improving. Study 2 found that AIOS scores were inversely related to distress ratings. Study 3 found a significant correlation between AIOS scores and positive affect and positive states of mind, and an inverse correlation with negative affect.


The AIOS is a valid tool for measuring global wellbeing in integrative medicine research and extends beyond existing disease-focussed measures.


Bell IR, Cunningham V, Caspi O, Meek P, Ferro L. Development and validation of a new global well-being outcomes rating scale for integrative medicine research. BMC Complementary & Alternative Medicine 4 (1): 1, Jan 15, 2004.

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