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Alterations in heart rate (HR) may provide new information about physiological signatures of depression severity. This 2-year study in individuals with a history of recurrent major depressive disorder (MDD) explored the intra-individual variations in HR parameters and their relationship with depression severity.
Data from 510 participants (Number of observations of the HR parameters = 6666) were collected from three centres in the Netherlands, Spain, and the UK, as a part of the remote assessment of disease and relapse-MDD study. We analysed the relationship between depression severity, assessed every 2 weeks with the Patient Health Questionnaire-8, with HR parameters in the week before the assessment, such as HR features during all day, resting periods during the day and at night, and activity periods during the day evaluated with a wrist-worn Fitbit device. Linear mixed models were used with random intercepts for participants and countries. Covariates included in the models were age, sex, BMI, smoking and alcohol consumption, antidepressant use and co-morbidities with other medical health conditions.
Decreases in HR variation during resting periods during the day were related with an increased severity of depression both in univariate and multivariate analyses. Mean HR during resting at night was higher in participants with more severe depressive symptoms.
Our findings demonstrate that alterations in resting HR during all day and night are associated with depression severity. These findings may provide an early warning of worsening depression symptoms which could allow clinicians to take responsive treatment measures promptly.
Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is prevalent, often chronic, and requires ongoing monitoring of symptoms to track response to treatment and identify early indicators of relapse. Remote Measurement Technologies (RMT) provide an exciting opportunity to transform the measurement and management of MDD, via data collected from inbuilt smartphone sensors and wearable devices alongside app-based questionnaires and tasks.
To describe the amount of data collected during a multimodal longitudinal RMT study, in an MDD population.
RADAR-MDD is a multi-centre, prospective observational cohort study. People with a history of MDD were provided with a wrist-worn wearable, and several apps designed to: a) collect data from smartphone sensors; and b) deliver questionnaires, speech tasks and cognitive assessments and followed-up for a maximum of 2 years.
A total of 623 individuals with a history of MDD were enrolled in the study with 80% completion rates for primary outcome assessments across all timepoints. 79.8% of people participated for the maximum amount of time available and 20.2% withdrew prematurely. Data availability across all RMT data types varied depending on the source of data and the participant-burden for each data type. We found no evidence of an association between the severity of depression symptoms at baseline and the availability of data. 110 participants had > 50% data available across all data types, and thus able to contribute to multiparametric analyses.
RADAR-MDD is the largest multimodal RMT study in the field of mental health. Here, we have shown that collecting RMT data from a clinical population is feasible.
No significant relationships.
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