Exploring the digital footprint of depression: a PRISMA systematic literature review of the empirical evidence

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Zarate, Daniel ORCID: 0000-0002-1508-8637, Stavropoulos, Vasileios ORCID: 0000-0001-6964-4662, Ball, Michelle ORCID: 0000-0002-4056-6178, de Sena Collier, Gabriel and Jacobson, Nicholas C (2022) Exploring the digital footprint of depression: a PRISMA systematic literature review of the empirical evidence. BMC Psychiatry, 22 (1). ISSN 1471-244X

Abstract

Background: This PRISMA systematic literature review examined the use of digital data collection methods (including ecological momentary assessment [EMA], experience sampling method [ESM], digital biomarkers, passive sensing, mobile sensing, ambulatory assessment, and time-series analysis), emphasizing on digital phenotyping (DP) to study depression. DP is defined as the use of digital data to profile health information objectively. Aims: Four distinct yet interrelated goals underpin this study: (a) to identify empirical research examining the use of DP to study depression; (b) to describe the different methods and technology employed; (c) to integrate the evidence regarding the efficacy of digital data in the examination, diagnosis, and monitoring of depression and (d) to clarify DP definitions and digital mental health records terminology. Results: Overall, 118 studies were assessed as eligible. Considering the terms employed, “EMA”, “ESM”, and “DP” were the most predominant. A variety of DP data sources were reported, including voice, language, keyboard typing kinematics, mobile phone calls and texts, geocoded activity, actigraphy sensor-related recordings (i.e., steps, sleep, circadian rhythm), and self-reported apps’ information. Reviewed studies employed subjectively and objectively recorded digital data in combination with interviews and psychometric scales. Conclusions: Findings suggest links between a person’s digital records and depression. Future research recommendations include (a) deriving consensus regarding the DP definition and (b) expanding the literature to consider a person’s broader contextual and developmental circumstances in relation to their digital data/records.

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Item type Article
URI https://vuir.vu.edu.au/id/eprint/44238
DOI https://doi.org/10.1186/s12888-022-04013-y
Official URL https://bmcpsychiatry.biomedcentral.com/articles/1...
Subjects Current > FOR (2020) Classification > 5205 Social and personality psychology
Current > FOR (2020) Classification > 5299 Other psychology
Current > Division/Research > Institute for Health and Sport
Keywords depression, digital footprint, mental health,
Citations in Scopus 2 - View on Scopus
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