Comparing like for like

I was asked recently why the well-being scores from an initial survey don’t always match the initial figures shown in the follow up results.

Your follow up results only show participants that have completed both the initial and follow up survey. This methodology is called a ‘matched pairs analysis’ and allows you to accurately look at the differences within the same sample between the two points in time. Young people that have completed only one of the surveys are not included in the analysis.

Even if you have the same number of participants for both your initial and follow up survey, you may still see a difference in your scores.

The reason for this is that the scores can only be calculated from comparing like for like. If all young people taking part in the survey gave a response to all 45 statements of their initial survey, they would need to respond to all 45 again in the follow up survey in order for a complete comparison.

If however, any individuals missed out a few statements on their follow up survey, the well-being score will be calculated by comparing only those that have a completed set of responses (for both surveys). For example, the self esteem aspect consists of 10 statements. If an individual responded to all 10 statements in the initial survey but only 8 in the follow up, they would not be included in the comparison.

For further information on interpreting your results, you can refer to our guideline here. Alternatively, contact us at if you have any questions.

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