As the field of innate health has evolved and grown, there have been several attempts to measure it. To ensure that the concept of innate health is properly tested and relevant to positive mental health outcomes, Innate Health Research set out to develop a measure around several strategic questions: How do we effectively capture a change in the way we think and experience life? How do we show that the change in the way we think is the mediating factor in other changes? Can the innate health conversation and its measurement expand positive mental health interventions and their outcomes?
Innate Health Research has built a measure into all of our collaborative projects over the past 4 years. All the projects, partnerships, and research participants have helped us develop and test the accuracy and reliability of this measure.
Early-stage tests included a UK prisons project with Beyond Recovery; a UK conference with people who had a range of knowledge about innate health; a global COVID wellbeing study; and a Netherlands poverty study with young, working-poor, adults of a large fast-food chain. You can read more in this pre-print article (LINK).
The range of contexts in which it is being tested continues to grow and now includes various academic partners in the UK and a federally funded research project in the US.
Developing a valid and reliable measure that is relevant across populations required that Innate Health Research go back to test previous measures, assess their accuracy, and ultimately had to build new questions to forge the current survey tool. This survey was based on the original texts of Sydney Banks, the author and founder of an innate health approach, often called the Three Principles of Health Realization, widely applied across disciplines and populations.
Using what we learned from research and testing, Innate Health Research finally developed and refined to a more accessible and applicable 6-question scale. We have successfully deployed the measure to evaluate whether innate health delivers positive outcomes and whether innate health plays a role in mediating positive changes in intervention efficacy research.
Thus far, the measure has offered a consistent finding: higher scores in innate health translate to higher scores in resilience and wellbeing, and lower scores in anxiety, stress, depression, and anti-social behaviors. Early results also suggest that innate health is a mediating factor in those outcomes when evaluated alongside other known mediating factors. For a more in-depth look at how the measure can be applied, you can read more in the Nottingham pre-print.
The measure is an important strategic project for Innate Health Research. Developing this measure allows us and our partners to rigorously evaluate innate health programs and offer scientific data alongside impact stories. However, the measure is also forging change on a broader level. By providing the field with an actionable framework through which to explain the concept, we are helping to propel the positive mental health conversation forward, translating and crystalizing it for academic and non-academic audiences.
We continue to develop the measure in new ways, testing and improving it to show reliability and validity across populations.
Originally designed for adults, we are now adapting it for adolescents, enhancing its versatility and application. Creating a norm-referenced score will also increase the measure’s credibility and applicability. We are developing this measure into easy-to-use tools that serve a range of different partners and purposes.
Innate health is a (relatively) new construct, and our measure is showing that it is something different and unique that has actionable, explanatory power. We envision a shift in the field of mental health because of this measure.
We work closely with practitioners, academics and funders to provide research-backed evidence for innate health. If you’d like to work with us on a project, please get in touch
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