The Loneliness Project

Proposed Trial to Further Improve Accuracy


Social relationships are fundamental to emotional fulfillment and cognitive adjustment. We know that it’s harder for people without a support network to recover from any illness, and especially from mental health conditions. In addition, individuals who are out of work on disability claim, are removed from many social parts of everyday life over and above not interacting with those who are working. Moreover, their disability status might also deter them from interacting with their more immediate support network. 

Why Focus on Loneliness?

Loneliness is not a diagnosis, it has no ICD Code, yet we see in our data that there is a significant correlation between loneliness and claim duration. From research literature, we know that there is a complex, two-way relationship between loneliness and being out of work, and that loneliness correlates with some of the measures we already use to model disability duration and complexity. However, it also appears to have a unique contribution that may help refine our models to give you better and more actionable data analytics. We are looking for a small number of clients who are interested in participating in a trial of a loneliness scale to be added to the current Employee Questionnaire.

In the remainder of this document, we provide details on the terms of the trial, the loneliness scale itself, and why loneliness is so important to understand. We hope you will join us.

In the Current Data…

Currently, the Questionnaires ask claimants questions regarding who is at home with them, to understand what support they may have. This enables us to identify whether the claimant lives on their own, which has shown to have negative effects on mental health and recovery. The Questionnaire then asks, “Do you ever feel lonely?”. Responses to this question have shown very interesting correlations that lead us to investigate more details of loneliness and its impact.

Two factors emerged from analyzing these limited data; (a) you don’t have to live alone to feel lonely, and (b) sometimes people don’t wish to admit to being lonely. Nevertheless, even with only one question on the subject of loneliness, we already see correlations between loneliness and the duration of claims – that is loneliness contributes to longer durations. In fact, the durations for ‘lonely claimants’ are almost twice as long as those who are not lonely, as shown in the table above.

Based on our preliminary data and findings, we believe that a more sophisticated set of questions about loneliness will help us gain a better view of the issue and improve the analytic model. As a result, The Claim Lab is investing in additional research into the impacts of loneliness that are relevant to claims.

Identifying a Scale

Our research team has begun designing a concise and effective loneliness scale that would not disrupt the flow of the current question set. The scale will be validated by existing empirical evidence and will be statistically reliable.

This enhanced loneliness scale will be added to the existing Questionnaires and will provide a greater level of data to enable the full impact of this factor to be evaluated.

Logistics of the Trial

The Claim Lab is looking for clients who will help us collect more data on the topic of loneliness. Procedurally, the updated Questionnaire would be applied for a period of six months, and data will be analyzed as the volume becomes significant. 

We believe this research will be an important contribution to our understanding of the factors that impact claim duration. We will be publicizing the results from the trial, at an aggregate level, but each participant will also receive a separate analysis of their specific data.

Contact us at for more details.

The Claim Lab

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