Predicting short term mood developments among depressed patients using adherence and ecological momentary assessment data

Adam Mikus, Mark Hoogendoorn*, Artur Rocha, Joao Gama, Jeroen Ruwaard, Heleen Riper

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Technology driven interventions provide us with an increasing amount of fine-grained data about the patient. This data includes regular ecological momentary assessments (EMA) but also response times to EMA questions by a user. When observing this data, we see a huge variation between the patterns exhibited by different patients. Some are more stable while others vary a lot over time. This poses a challenging problem for the domain of artificial intelligence and makes on wondering whether it is possible to predict the future mental state of a patient using the data that is available. In the end, these predictions could potentially contribute to interventions that tailor the feedback to the user on a daily basis, for example by warning a user that a fall-back might be expected during the next days, or by applying a strategy to prevent the fall-back from occurring in the first place. In this work, we focus on short term mood prediction by considering the adherence and usage data as an additional predictor. We apply recurrent neural networks to handle the temporal aspects best and try to explore whether individual, group level, or one single predictive model provides the highest predictive performance (measured using the root mean squared error (RMSE)). We use data collected from patients from five countries who used the ICT4Depression/MoodBuster platform in the context of the EU E-COMPARED project. In total, we used the data from 143 patients (with between 9 and 425 days of EMA data) who were diagnosed with a major depressive disorder according to DSM-IV. Results show that we can make predictions of short term mood change quite accurate (ranging between 0.065 and 0.11). The past EMA mood ratings proved to be the most influential while adherence and usage data did not improve prediction accuracy. In general, group level predictions proved to be the most promising, however differences were not significant. Short term mood prediction remains a difficult task, but from this research we can conclude that sophisticated machine learning algorithms/setups can result in accurate performance. For future work, we want to use more data from the mobile phone to improve predictive performance of short term mood.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-110
Number of pages6
JournalInternet Interventions
Early online date7 Oct 2017
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018


FundersFunder number
Seventh Framework Programme603098


    • Depression
    • Machine learning
    • Prediction
    • Short term mood


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