Facebook app to predict mental health relapse

June 26, 2014
Facebook app to predict mental health relapse
Facebook app could help prevent mental health relapse

(Medical Xpress)—Researchers are looking at how social media can be used to prevent relapse in a person living with mental illness.

The world-first pilot study will use a Facebook app to look at changes in a person's social media interactions to predict when a person living with a is likely to experience a .

Professor Paul Fitzgerald, Deputy Director of the Monash Alfred Psychiatry Centre (MAPrc), said social media had the potential to be a life-saving way to prevent relapse for patients with , a substantial clinical problem.

"Bipolar disorder is unfortunately one of the largest risk factors for attempted suicide," Professor Fitzgerald said.

"Studies show that social media offers potential to monitor various psychiatric conditions, however, until now, there has been no application available to plug-in and draw on the information available."

Individuals download the application and they then link it with their Facebook profile.

"The app looks for changes in interactions, such as postings, likes and friend requests. It also prompts self-assessment by asking the profile owner to rate their mood each day," Professor Fitzgerald said.

"The app will be developed to the point where it can identify changes in Facebook use that predict impending illness relapse and then alert the patient, their mental health physician, carers or family to take immediate action."

Professor Fitzgerald said the research team would use the pilot study to develop and refine the algorithm that predicts a relapse.

MAPrc and RMIT University have developed the application with grant support from beyondblue.

Explore further: New depression treatment may avoid side effects

Related Stories

New depression treatment may avoid side effects

October 23, 2012

In an Australian first, researchers are studying Magnetic Seizure Therapy (MST) as an alternative treatment for the 30 per cent of patients suffering from depression who don't respond to traditional treatment.

Research redefines 'recovery' in bipolar disorder

November 29, 2012

(Medical Xpress)—Researchers have developed the first accurate tool for measuring bipolar recovery which takes into account the personal experiences of people living with the disorder.

Recommended for you

Oxytocin enhances spirituality, new study says

September 21, 2016

Oxytocin has been dubbed the "love hormone" for its role promoting social bonding, altruism and more. Now new research from Duke University suggests the hormone may also support spirituality.

Study reveals a biological link between stress and obesity

September 21, 2016

Metabolic and anxiety-related disorders both pose a significant healthcare burden, and are in the spotlight of contemporary research and therapeutic efforts. Although intuitively we assume that these two phenomena overlap, ...

Men with anxiety are more likely to die of cancer, study says

September 20, 2016

Men over 40 who are plagued with the omnipresent of generalized anxiety disorder are more than twice as likely to die of cancer than are men who do not have the mental affliction, new research finds. But for women who suffer ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.