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We commissioned Kohlrabi to conduct two distinct yet complementary rapid reviews:

  1. Life Satisfaction Intervention Review: Collating international evidence on activities, programmes or services intended to improve individual life satisfaction.
  2. Life Satisfaction Determinants Review: Updating the evidence base using observational UK longitudinal data on broad factors that are associated with life satisfaction at a population-level.

The two rapid reviews were conducted in parallel, with complementary inclusion/exclusion criteria, search strategies, extraction and synthesis, and critical appraisal. Where possible, best practices for conducting systematic reviews from the Cochrane Collaboration were followed.

The intervention review primarily identified intrapersonal emotional activities, which were generally associated with improvements in life satisfaction although effect sizes were small.

The observational review identified broader determinants of life satisfaction including socioeconomic circumstances, social capital and health factors.

Together, the reviews offer complementary and comprehensive insight into factors associated with life satisfaction, as outlined in the full report. They identify key targets for improving life satisfaction as well as areas for further research. Addressing overall socioeconomic and health factors at a population-level could complement individual-centric interventions aimed specifically at improving life satisfaction.

This project supports policymakers and commissioners by:

  • enhancing their understanding of determinants of life satisfaction;
  • increasing the availability of effect sizes for use in policy evaluation and appraisal across various factors of interest.
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