Changes in speech have been suggested as sensitive and valid measures of depression and mania in bipolar disorder. The present study aimed at investigating (1) voice features collected during phone calls as objective markers of affective states in bipolar disorder and (2) if combining voice features with automatically generated objective smartphone data on behavioral activities (for example, number of text messages and phone calls per day) and electronic self-monitored data (mood) on illness activity would increase the accuracy as a marker of affective states. Using smartphones, voice features, automatically generated objective smartphone data on behavioral activities and electronic self-monitored data were collected from 28 outpatients with bipolar disorder in naturalistic settings on a daily basis during a period of 12 weeks. Depressive and manic symptoms were assessed using the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale 17-item and the Young Mania Rating Scale, respectively, by a researcher blinded to smartphone data. Data were analyzed using random forest algorithms. Affective states were classified using voice features extracted during everyday life phone calls. Voice features were found to be more accurate, sensitive and specific in the classification of manic or mixed states with an area under the curve (AUC)=0.89 compared with an AUC=0.78 for the classification of depressive states. Combining voice features with automatically generated objective smartphone data on behavioral activities and electronic self-monitored data increased the accuracy, sensitivity and specificity of classification of affective states slightly. Voice features collected in naturalistic settings using smartphones may be used as objective state markers in patients with bipolar disorder.
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