Electronic self-monitoring of mood using IT platforms in adult patients with bipolar disorder: A systematic review of the validity and evidence

Maria Faurholt-Jepsen, Klaus Munkholm, Mads Frost, Jakob Eyvind Bardram, Lars Vedel Kessing

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Abstract

Background: Various paper-based mood charting instruments are used in the monitoring of symptoms in bipolar disorder. During recent years an increasing number of electronic self-monitoring tools have been developed. The objectives of this systematic review were 1) to evaluate the validity of electronic self-monitoring tools as a method of evaluating mood compared to clinical rating scales for depression and mania and 2) to investigate the effect of electronic self-monitoring tools on clinically relevant outcomes in bipolar disorder.

Methods: A systematic review of the scientific literature, reported according to the Preferred Reporting items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA) guidelines was conducted. MEDLINE, Embase, PsycINFO and The Cochrane Library were searched and supplemented by hand search of reference lists. Databases were searched for 1) studies on electronic self-monitoring tools in patients with bipolar disorder reporting on validity of electronically self-reported mood ratings compared to clinical rating scales for depression and mania and 2) randomized controlled trials (RCT) evaluating electronic mood self-monitoring tools in patients with bipolar disorder.

Results: A total of 13 published articles were included. Seven articles were RCTs and six were longitudinal studies. Electronic self-monitoring of mood was considered valid compared to clinical rating scales for depression in six out of six studies, and in two out of seven studies compared to clinical rating scales for mania. The included RCTs primarily investigated the effect of heterogeneous electronically delivered interventions; none of the RCTs investigated the sole effect of electronic mood self-monitoring tools. Methodological issues with risk of bias at different levels limited the evidence in the majority of studies.

Conclusions: Electronic self-monitoring of mood in depression appears to be a valid measure of mood in contrast to self-monitoring of mood in mania. There are yet few studies on the effect of electronic self-monitoring of mood in bipolar disorder. The evidence of electronic self-monitoring is limited by methodological issues and by a lack of RCTs. Although the idea of electronic self-monitoring of mood seems appealing, studies using rigorous methodology investigating the beneficial as well as possible harmful effects of electronic self-monitoring are needed.
Original languageEnglish
JournalMolecular Psychiatry
Volume16
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)1-14
ISSN1359-4184
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Bibliographical note

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

Keywords

  • Bipolar disorder
  • Electronic self-monitored mood
  • Validity
  • Evicence
  • Systematic review
  • Depressive and manic symptoms

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