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Validation of Visual and Auditory Digital Markers of Suicidality in Acutely Suicidal Psychiatric In-Patients

By Isaac R. Galatzer-Levy, Anzar Abbas, Anja Ries, Stephanie Homan, Vidya Koesmahargyo, Vijay Yadav, Michael Colla, Hanne Scheerer, Stefan Vetter, Erich Seifritz, Urte Scholz, Birgit Kleim

Posted 25 Oct 2020
medRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.10.21.20217091

BackgroundMultiple symptoms of suicide risk are assessed based on visual and auditory information including flattened affect, reduced movement, and slowed speech. Objective quantification of such symptomatology from novel data sources can increase the sensitivity, scalability, and timeliness of suicide risk assessment. MethodsIn the current study we utilized video to quantify facial, vocal, and movement markers associated with mood, emotion, and motor functioning from a structured clinical conversation in 20 patients admitted to a psychiatric hospital following a suicide risk attempt. Measures were calculated using open source deep learning algorithms for processing facial expressivity, head movement, and vocal characteristics. Derived digital measures of flattened affect, reduced movement, and slowed speech were compared to suicide severity using the Beck Suicide Scale (BSS), controlling for age and gender using multiple linear regression. ResultsSuicide severity was associated with multiple visual and auditory markers including speech prevalence ({beta} = -0.68; P =.017, r2 =.40, overall expressivity ({beta} = -0.46; P = 0.10, r2 =.27), and head movement measured as head pitch variability ({beta} = -1.24; P =.006, r2 =.48) and head yaw variability ({beta} = -0.54; p =.055, r2 =.32). ConclusionsDigital measurements of facial affect, movement, and speech prevalence demonstrated strong effect sizes and significant linear associations with severity of suicidal ideation.

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