Correlations Between Objective Behavioral Features Collected From Mobile and Wearable Devices and Depressive Mood Symptoms in Patients With Affective Disorders: Systematic Review

Research output: Contribution to journalReviewResearchpeer-review

Darius A Rohani, Maria Faurholt-Jepsen, Lars Vedel Kessing, Jakob E Bardram

BACKGROUND: Several studies have recently reported on the correlation between objective behavioral features collected via mobile and wearable devices and depressive mood symptoms in patients with affective disorders (unipolar and bipolar disorders). However, individual studies have reported on different and sometimes contradicting results, and no quantitative systematic review of the correlation between objective behavioral features and depressive mood symptoms has been published.

OBJECTIVE: The objectives of this systematic review were to (1) provide an overview of the correlations between objective behavioral features and depressive mood symptoms reported in the literature and (2) investigate the strength and statistical significance of these correlations across studies. The answers to these questions could potentially help identify which objective features have shown most promising results across studies.

METHODS: We conducted a systematic review of the scientific literature, reported according to the preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses guidelines. IEEE Xplore, ACM Digital Library, Web of Sciences, PsychINFO, PubMed, DBLP computer science bibliography, HTA, DARE, Scopus, and Science Direct were searched and supplemented by hand examination of reference lists. The search ended on April 27, 2017, and was limited to studies published between 2007 and 2017.

RESULTS: A total of 46 studies were eligible for the review. These studies identified and investigated 85 unique objective behavioral features, covering 17 various sensor data inputs. These features were divided into 7 categories. Several features were found to have statistically significant and consistent correlation directionality with mood assessment (eg, the amount of home stay, sleep duration, and vigorous activity), while others showed directionality discrepancies across the studies (eg, amount of text messages [short message service] sent, time spent between locations, and frequency of mobile phone screen activity).

CONCLUSIONS: Several studies showed consistent and statistically significant correlations between objective behavioral features collected via mobile and wearable devices and depressive mood symptoms. Hence, continuous and everyday monitoring of behavioral aspects in affective disorders could be a promising supplementary objective measure for estimating depressive mood symptoms. However, the evidence is limited by methodological issues in individual studies and by a lack of standardization of (1) the collected objective features, (2) the mood assessment methodology, and (3) the statistical methods applied. Therefore, consistency in data collection and analysis in future studies is needed, making replication studies as well as meta-analyses possible.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere165
JournalJMIR mHealth and uHealth
Issue number8
Pages (from-to)1-21
Publication statusPublished - 2018

ID: 215922013