March 2023 – Mind Over Matter…?

Anyone who has handled any claims involving injuries has noticed the phenomenon that different claimants with similar demographics and similar injuries may appear to heal or to get back to full time work, do so at very different rates. Earlier in my claims career, my first response might be to think in terms of the presence of malingering or actual fraud.

However, in more recent times, claims professionals have come to understand the significance of various psychosocial factors on recovery. This has been proven in a great number of research studies and is corroborated by The Claim Lab’s detailed data.   

In our blog a couple of months ago, we explored in some detail one of several psychosocial categories—the injured worker’s work situation and relationships. Another VERY important dimension is the all-encompassing term of “mental health”. It would be possible to write an entire book on the topic, much less a blog of limited length.

Some detailed research from Canada in 2022 shows a very strong and compelling relationship between slower recovery from musculoskeletal injuries, depression, pain, and a lack of positive expectations. According to one of our leaders in workplace behavioral thinking, Michael Sullivan, Ph.D., from McGill University, it seems to be the lack of positive expectations (more so than the presence of negative expectations), that can extend recovery time. {Michael Sullivan – Ph.D. – LinkedIn}.

An article from June 29, 2022 in Carrier Chronicles says essentially the same thing in regards to the impact of mental health and further says that 33% of all work days lost may be directly attributable to stress, anxiety, or depression {The Impact of Mental Health on Injured Workers – Carrier Chronicles} !

The Claim Lab’s data has provided insights, that while best understood and used in its entirety, demonstrates a very compelling correlation between certain very specific categories of psychosocial conditions or even individual questions related to different mental health issues. None of this is speculation on our part but real data from real claims.

As this is something we love to talk about, let us know if you want to discuss what this means in more detail at

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