May 2016 – Measuring Self Esteem

A vital tool for disability insurers is the ability to measure self-esteem, to help separate the medical issues from the psychological issues and assist in the return to work process. Trying to better understand the complex interplay between the physical healing process and the mental health issues is hard using traditional methods.


Claim managers in conversation with an individual, use their own judgement and experience to access the motivation of the claimant. This relies heavily on the experience of the claim manager and their intuition. By its very nature, the feedback from the claimant is not captured or recorded for future use, other than a few brief comments that maybe added to the claim notes.

The Claim Lab provides tools that can be used to assess the self-esteem of an individual and assess their perspective of their functional recovery from a condition or injury. An online questionnaire is combined with multi-variable regression models to assess the association between the score recorded from the questionnaire, and the eventual return to work of the individuals, or not as the case may be. The questionnaire is completed via an interview with a claim manager or self-serve via a web page.

Such a tool should not be used for every claimant, but defined trigger points in the claims process would recommend a claim manager sends out the questionnaire. There are several questionnaires available to measure self-esteem, as well as questionnaires designed for specific diagnoses.

Many companies already use  questionnaires during the claim management process, but they are stand-alone, and not integrated with analytics tools. This last element is vital to provide the feedback loop to assess the effectiveness of the questionnaire and to add extra depth of understanding to the claim.

This type of approach has been validated by the work of Dr Jason Busse, who found that scores from such questionnaires were a far more powerful predictor of recovery than age, gender, diagnosis, smoking status, or presence of comorbidities.

The Claim Lab believes that such tools represent a significant area of innovation in the insurance industry, and has invested in a technology platform to support this type of data collection function.

If you would like to learn more about this exciting topic, please contact us at…

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