From the Journals

Smartphone-based system rivals clinical assessments of anxiety in bipolar disorder



In patients with bipolar disorder currently in partial or full remission, self-reporting of anxiety to a smartphone-based system matched clinical evaluations of anxiety, according to Maria Faurholt-Jepsen, MD, and her associates.


A total of 84 patients with bipolar disorder who participated in the randomized, controlled, single-blind, parallel-group MONARCA II trial were included in the study, reported Dr. Faurholt-Jepsen of Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen, and her associates. All patients reported their anxiety to the smartphone-based system every day for a 9-month period; all patients underwent clinical evaluations of anxiety, functioning, patient-reported stress, and quality of life at five fixed time points over the study period. The study was published online by the Journal of Affective Disorders.

Self-reported anxiety was mild, with 19.3% of patients reporting anxiety during the study period, and 2.6% reporting severe anxiety. No association was seen between gender and anxiety days, or between bipolar disorder type and anxiety days. Patients reported depressed mood on 43.2% of the days when anxiety was also reported, and reported mania on 48.0% of the days when anxiety was reported.

Self-reported anxiety scores were positively associated with the anxiety subitems on a key rating scale (P = .0001). In addition, self-reported anxiety was associated with perceived stress, quality of life, and functioning (P = .0001 for all three).

Smartphones allow for the assessments of an individual’s status in real time repeatedly over time and offer the opportunity to collect fine-grained data unobtrusively and outside the clinical setting. Frequent fine-grained monitoring in clinical, high-risk and epidemiological populations provides an opportunity to gain a better understanding of the nature, correlates, and clinical implications of [bipolar disorder],” the investigators wrote.

Three coauthors reported consulting with Eli Lilly, Astra Zeneca, Servier, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Lundbeck, Sunovion, and Medilink. Two coauthors are cofounders and shareholders in Monsenso.

SOURCE: Faurholt-Jepsen M et al. J Affect Disord. 2019. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2019.07.029.

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