The impact of loneliness and social isolation on health state utility values: a systematic literature review

Ishani K. Majmudar, Cathrine Mihalopoulos, Bianca Brijnath, Michelle H. Lim, Natasha Yvonne Hall, Lidia Engel

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6 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Loneliness and social isolation are recognised as social problems and denote a significant health burden. The aim of this study was to conduct a systematic literature review to explore the health state utility values (HSUVs) associated with loneliness and/or social isolation. Method: Peer-reviewed journals published in English language that reported both HSUVs along with loneliness and/or social isolation scores were identified through five databases. No restrictions were made relating to the population, study design or utility estimation method used. Results: In total, 19 papers were included; 12 included a measure of loneliness, four studies included a measure of social isolation and three studies considered both loneliness and social isolation. All studies focused on individuals with pre-existing health conditions—where the EQ-5D-3L instrument was most frequently used to assess HSUVs. HSUVs ranged from 0.5 to 0.95 in those who reported not being lonely, 0.42 to 0.97 in those who experienced some level of loneliness, 0.3 to 0.87 in those who were socially isolated and 0.63 to 0.94 in those who were not socially isolated. Conclusion: There was significant variation in HSUVs complicated by the presence of co-morbidities, population heterogeneity, variations in methods used to derive utility scores and differences in the measurement of loneliness and/or social isolation. Nevertheless, the lower HSUVs observed should be considered to significantly impact quality of life, though we also note the need for further research to explore the unique impact of loneliness and social isolation on HSUVs that can be used in the future economic evaluations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1977–1997
Number of pages21
JournalQuality of Life Research
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Economic burden
  • Health burden
  • Health state utility values
  • Loneliness
  • Social isolation

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