Facebook app to predict mental health relapse

June 26, 2014, Monash University
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: Research redefines 'recovery' in bipolar disorder

Related Stories

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.

The overlap of research and clinical practice is finding new ways to successfully treat mental illness

April 30, 2014
Linda (not her real name) was living a model life. An executive overseeing 300 staff with a supportive family, the 46-year-old was flying high. Then one day everything changed. Seemingly out of the blue she could not focus, ...

Antipsychotic medication during pregnancy does affect babies

June 2, 2014
(Medical Xpress)—A seven-year study of women who take antipsychotic medication while pregnant, proves it can affect babies.

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.

Meeting face to face vs. meeting on Facebook—new study on social anxiety

March 4, 2014
Nearly a billion people use Facebook, the largest social networking site, but interacting with someone on social media is not the same as meeting them in person. The results of a study to determine whether Facebook exposure ...

Recommended for you

Intensive behavior therapy no better than conventional support in treating teenagers with antisocial behavior

January 19, 2018
Research led by UCL has found that intensive and costly multisystemic therapy is no better than conventional therapy in treating teenagers with moderate to severe antisocial behaviour.

Babies' babbling betters brains, language

January 18, 2018
Babies are adept at getting what they need - including an education. New research shows that babies organize mothers' verbal responses, which promotes more effective language instruction, and infant babbling is the key.

College branding makes beer more salient to underage students

January 18, 2018
In recent years, major beer companies have tried to capitalize on the salience of students' university affiliations, unveiling marketing campaigns and products—such as "fan cans," store displays, and billboard ads—that ...

Inherited IQ can increase in early childhood

January 18, 2018
When it comes to intelligence, environment and education matter – more than we think.

Modulating molecules: Study shows oxytocin helps the brain to modulate social signals

January 17, 2018
Between sights, sounds, smells and other senses, the brain is flooded with stimuli on a moment-to-moment basis. How can it sort through the flood of information to decide what is important and what can be relegated to the ...

Baby brains help infants figure it out before they try it out

January 17, 2018
Babies often amaze their parents when they seemingly learn new skills overnight—how to walk, for example. But their brains were probably prepping for those tasks long before their first steps occurred, according to researchers.

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.