Assessing the structures and domains of wellness models: A systematic review


  • Krista Kauppi University of Helsinki, Medical Centre Aava
  • Antero Vanhala University of Helsinki
  • Eira Roos University of Helsinki
  • Paulus Torkki University of Helsinki



Objective: This study systematically identifies different wellness domains, explores whether we are reaching any consensus, and presents an archetype of a wellness model.

Methods: Studies were selected for review if they proposed a model for assessing individuals’ wellness, the model was generic (i.e., non-context or disease-specific), designed for adults and included at least physical, psychological and social domains. Furthermore, the study needed to be peer-reviewed with a full-text available in English. Based on this, 44 models were identified and their domains were extracted and grouped using thematic analysis, and placed under themes that were created using quantitative methods. Publication year and formed groupings were used to examine the evolution of models. Median, mode, and percentages were used to form the archetype.

Results: The investigated models included 379 unique domains that could be clustered into 70 groups and under 14 themes. While the numbers of published wellness models increased, no consensus on the domains was reached. The majority of the models were presented at one level with five domains.

Conclusions: Incorporating wellness into everyday practice requires comparable measures to evaluate and benchmark outcomes. Hence, we need to reach a mutual understanding on the structure and domains of wellness.


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Author Biographies

Krista Kauppi, University of Helsinki, Medical Centre Aava

Krista Kauppi is a PhD student in the Faculty of Medicine of University of Helsinki. She holds a MSc of Science in Technology and MSc of Science in Medical and Wellness Technology. Her professional background is mainly from industry where she has worked with various healthcare and wellness companies. Her research interests mainly focus on examining wellness and how digital wellness information can enhance health promotion and healthcare.

Antero Vanhala, University of Helsinki

Antero Vanhala has a background in Industrial Engineering and health operations research in Aalto University, and work experience in consulting, operations development and commercial tasks from health care, digital therapeutics and pharmaceutical industries. Currently he studies medicine at University of Helsinki and supports the development of value-based healthcare as a researcher and expert in quality and effectiveness of care.

Eira Roos, University of Helsinki

Eira Roos, MD, PhD has a Specialist Degree in occupational health. She is currently working for Aava Medical Centre while also doing research at University of Helsinki. She completed her dissertation in 2014, which focused on investigating obesity, weight gain and work disability among middle-aged employees. Her research mainly focuses on investigating the lifestyle factors, health, and workability.

Paulus Torkki, University of Helsinki

Paulus Torkki is an associate professor of health care operations management in the Faculty of Medicine. After the doctoral dissertation, Torkki was researcher director of Healthcare Management Institute in Aalto University. His research interest and publications mainly focus on health care operations management, focusing on the performance measurement, outcomes-based systems and the development of the care processes and pathways.


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