Behavioral activities collected through smartphones and the association with illness activity in bipolar disorder

Maria Faurholt-Jepsen, Maj Vinberg, Mads Frost, Sune Debel, Ellen Margrethe Christensen, Jakob E Bardram, Lars Vedel Kessing

    Research output: Journal Article or Conference Article in JournalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    Smartphones are useful in symptom-monitoring in bipolar disorder (BD). Objective smartphone data reflecting illness activity could facilitate early treatment and act as outcome in efficacy trials. A total of 29 patients with BD presenting with moderate to severe levels of depressive and manic symptoms used a smartphone-based self-monitoring system during 12 weeks. Objective smartphone data on behavioral activities were collected. Symptoms were clinically assessed every second week using the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale and the Young Mania Rating Scale. Objective smartphone data correlated with symptom severity. The more severe the depressive symptoms (1) the longer the smartphone's screen was “on”/day, (2) more received incoming calls/day, (3) fewer outgoing calls/day were made, (4) less answered incoming calls/day, (5) the patients moved less between cell towers IDs/day. Conversely, the more severe the manic symptoms (1) more outgoing text messages/day sent, (2) the phone calls/day were longer, (3) the fewer number of characters in incoming text messages/day, (4) the lower duration of outgoing calls/day, (5) the patients moved more between cell towers IDs/day. Further, objective smartphone data were able to discriminate between affective states. Objective smartphone data reflect illness severity, discriminates between affective states in BD and may facilitate the cooperation between patient and clinician.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalInternational Journal of Methods in Psychiatric Research
    Issue number4
    Pages (from-to)309-323
    Number of pages15
    Publication statusPublished - 2016


    • bipolar disorder
    • smartphone
    • illness activity
    • automatically generated objective data
    • objective outcome measure


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