Category: Adult Depression / Dysthymia
Background: Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide. Emotional reactivity (ER) is a known risk factor for the onset of depression, and heightened ER has been associated with increases in depressed mood. Digital monitoring tools such as ecological momentary assessment (EMA) allow for fine-grained examination of daily variations in individuals’ experience of affect. An improved understanding of the relationship between ER and affect variability in depressed individuals could inform the development of novel preventative interventions and targeted treatments for MDD. In this study, we examine whether higher ER is associated with greater variability in daily experiences of negative and positive affect among individuals with major depressive disorder (MDD).
Objective: To examine the association between bi-weekly self-reported ER and variance in daily self-reported negative and positive affect in individuals with MDD.
Methods: Adults (18-75) with major depressive disorder (MDD) were enrolled in the study which included a baseline assessment, followed by five bi-weekly in-clinic visits over the 8-week long study. ER was assessed using the self-report Emotional Reactivity Scale (ERS) at the in-clinic visits, for a total of six ERS scores per participant: screen (Visit 1) and five bi-weekly follow-ups (Visits 2-5). From Visit 2 to Visit 5, participants received four mood and behavior-related surveys per day via a smartphone-based app, MovisensXS. Two surveys per day included items from the Positive and Negative Affect Scale (PANAS). Data collection is still ongoing and will end in the next month. Preliminary analyses presented below are based on data from the n=29 completers thus far.
Results: Preliminary analyses show that ER at visit 2 was significantly associated with PANAS-NA (p=.016) but not PANAS-PA (p=.199) over the following two weeks. Upon completion of data collection, additional analyses will be conducted using hierarchical linear regression modeling, which will allow us to examine whether changes in ER moderate within-person changes in NA and PA over an 8-week period. Results of planned analyses will provide us an idiographic understanding of the relationship between ER and both NA variability and PA variability.
Conclusions: A more nuanced understanding of the relationship between ER and variation in daily NA and PA could facilitate the development of scalable, real-time ecological momentary interventions for depression.
Esther Howe– Massachusetts General Hospital
Maya Nauphal– Massachusetts General Hospital
Benjamin Shapero– Assistant Professor, Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School
Kate Bentley– Massachusetts General Hospital
David Mischoulon– Professor, Massachusetts General Hospital
Asma Ghandeharioun– Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Szymon Fedor– Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Rosalind Picard– Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Paola Pedrelli– Massachusetts General Hospital