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Continuous digital collection of patient-reported outcomes during inpatient treatment for affective disorders - implementation and feasibility

By Maike Richter, Michael Storck, Rogerio Blitz, Janik Goltermann, Juliana Seipp, Udo Dannlowski, B.T. Baune, M. Dugas, Nils Opel

Posted 01 Sep 2020
medRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.08.27.20183400

Multivariate predictive models have revealed promising results for the individual prediction of treatment response, relapse risk as well as for the differential diagnosis in affective disorders. Yet, in order to translate personalized predictive modelling from the research context to psychiatric clinical routine, standardized collection of information of sufficient detail and temporal resolution in day-to-day clinical care is needed, based on which machine learning algorithms can be trained. Digital collection of patient-reported outcomes (PROs) is a time- and cost-efficient approach to gain such data throughout the treatment course. However, it remains unclear whether patients with severe affective disorders are willing and able to participate in such efforts, whether the feasibility of such systems might vary depending on individual patient characteristics and if digitally acquired patient-reported outcomes are of sufficient diagnostic validity. To address these questions, we implemented a system for continuous digital collection of patient-reported outcomes via tablet computers throughout inpatient treatment for affective disorders at the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Muenster. 364 affective disorder patients were approached, 66.5% of which could be recruited to participate in the study. An average of four assessments were completed during the treatment course, none of the participants dropped out of the study prematurely. 89.3% of participants did not require additional support during data entry. Need of support with tablet handling and slower data entry pace was predicted by older age, whereas depression severity at baseline did not influence these measures. Patient-reported outcomes of depression severity showed high agreement with standardized external assessments by a clinical interviewer. Our results indicate that continuous digital collection of patient-reported outcomes is a feasible, accessible and valid method for longitudinal data collection in psychiatric routine, which will eventually facilitate the identification of individual risk and resilience factors for affective disorders and pave the way towards personalized psychiatric care.

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