Distant mood monitoring for depressive and bipolar disorders : a systematic review

Van Der Watt, A. S. J. ; Odendaal, W. ; Louw, K. ; Seedat, S. (2020-07-22)

CITATION: Van Der Watt, A. S. J., et al. 2020. Distant mood monitoring for depressive and bipolar disorders : a systematic review. BMC Psychiatry, 20:383, doi:10.1186/s12888-020-02782-y.

The original publication is available at https://bmcpsychiatry.biomedcentral.com/

Article

Background: Broadening our knowledge of the longitudinal course of mood symptoms is cardinal to providing effective long-term treatments. Research indicates that patients with mental illness are willing to engage in the use of telemonitoring and mobile technology to assess and monitor their mood states. However, without the provision of distant support, adverse outcomes and events may be difficult to prevent and manage through self-monitoring. Understanding patient perspectives is important to achieving the best balance of self-monitoring, patient empowerment, and distant supporter involvement. Methods: This systematic review synthesises quantitative and qualitative evidence of the effectiveness and feasibility of daily/weekly/monthly remote mood monitoring that includes distant support in participants with mood disorders. Inclusion criteria comprised mood monitoring of mood disorder patients as main intervention, study design, method of monitoring, and presence of psychotherapy and psychoeducation. Effectiveness was defined by the change in depression and/or mania scores. Feasibility was determined on participant feedback and completion/attrition rates. Studies were assessed for quality using the Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool version 2018. Results: Nine studies of acceptable quality met the inclusion criteria. Distant mood monitoring was effective in improving depression scores but not mania scores. Feasibility, as measured through compliance and completion rates and participant feedback, varied. Conclusion: Distant mood monitoring with support may be a useful, acceptable, and feasible intervention for diverse groups of patients in terms of age and ethnicity. Further, it may be effective in improving symptoms of depression, increasing treatment adherence, and facilitating the prevention and management of adverse outcomes. As a task-shifting intervention, distant mood monitoring may help to alleviate the burden on mental health providers in developing countries.

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