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Approved research

Construct a composite wellbeing measurement and resilience scale in UK-biobank, for use in GWAS on wellbeing and resilience

Principal Investigator: Mr Javad Jamshidi
Approved Research ID: 58534
Approval date: May 18th 2020

Lay summary

This research has three main aims: 1. To construct a quantitative measurement, using multiple mental health questions, to capture a broad concept of wellbeing and perform a GWAS using the wellbeing score. 2. To define a quantitative score for resilience for people exposed to trauma, based on the composite wellbeing score, and not only the absence of mental illness such as PTSD. Then the conduct of a GWAS based on this quantitative measure of resilience. 3. To investigate the possible correlation between the grey matter volume of different brain structures and the wellbeing and resilience score. Although wellbeing seems to be a simple concept, it has different facets and there are various instruments to measure different aspects of it. Wellbeing is a spectrum, and all its components correlate with each other. Therefore, it is better to consider it as a whole, and include all its component aspects, when trying to measure it. In this project, we are trying to make a composite instrument using the questions available in the UK Biobank in order to capture a broader definition of wellbeing, which includes all facets of wellbeing, then perform a GWAS to reveal the genetic variations that influence it. This approach will help us to have a better perspective on wellbeing and identify the factors that have the most influence on our mental health and wellbeing. Defining resilience using wellbeing itself (as a spectrum) rather than just presence or absence of mental illness, will be instrumental in understanding factors which make us resilient or vulnerable to trauma. It will help us to understand the factors which make us more susceptible to mental illness, while we are still on the so-called normal spectrum of wellbeing or mental health. This project will take ~16 months to complete after the data is provided. Six months for construction of the wellbeing instrument and related analysis, about 6 months for doing the genetic analysis and 4 months for the imaging study.