The COMPAS-W scale: Measuring wellbeing in headspace clients

Many young people in Australia require mental health treatment, and the Australian government funds the headspace National Youth Mental Health Foundation to provide early intervention services for clients aged 12 to 25. Those with a Mental Health Treatment Plan can access a course of 10 therapy sessions with a clinical psychologist at headspace, and this therapy is expected to improve the clients’ mental health symptoms.

The Gatt Wellbeing & Resilience Lab at NeuRA is interested in understanding whether their measure of wellbeing, called the COMPAS‑W Wellbeing Scale, is sensitive in response to treatment also. To understand this, the team is running a longitudinal study to measure headspace clients’ wellbeing from the beginning to the end of their 10-session course at headspace. This study is open to clients aged 16 to 25 at the Bondi Junction headspace centre who are currently experiencing mild to moderate symptoms of mental illness (e.g., depression, anxiety).

Each participant is assessed on four occasions over the duration of their involvement in the study, and each assessment includes the COMPAS‑W scale, a comprehensive measure of wellbeing that has been validated in past research on other populations. This study will widen the scope of mental health research to include a population whose wellbeing has been deserving of greater attention: young people receiving mental health treatment. And hopefully, the study will highlight any domains of wellbeing in which headspace clients may need additional support or resources post-recovery.

Team members and Funding:

Investigators on the project include A/​Prof Justine Gatt (Lead) and Dr Luke Egan from the Gatt Wellbeing & Resilience Lab at NeuRA, headspace management at Bondi Junction, and Prof Julia Lappin (Psychiatrist, UNSW). Funding for the study was provided by the Mindgardens Neuroscience Network and the National Health and Medical Research Council.

Related publications:

Data collection in progress.