BACKGROUND: Rating scales used to assess the severity of depression e.g. the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale 17-item (HDRS-17) partly rely on the patient's subjective experience and reporting. Such subjective measures tend to have low reliability and adding objective measures to complement the assessment of depression severity would be a major step forward. AIMS: To investigate correlations between electronic monitoring of psychomotor activity and severity of depression according to HDRS-17. METHODS: A total of 36 patients with unipolar disorder (n = 18) or bipolar disorder (n = 18) and 31 healthy control persons aged 18-60 years were included. Psychomotor activity was measured using a combined heart rate and movement sensor device (Actiheart) for 3 consecutive days, 24 h a day. RESULTS: We found that sleeping heart rate (beats/min) correlated with HDRS-17 in both patients with unipolar disorder and bipolar disorder (unadjusted model: B = 0.46, 95% CI 0.037-0.89, P = 0.034). In contrast, correlations between activity energy expenditure (kJ/kg/day), cardio-respiratory fitness (mlO2/min/kg) and HDRS-17 were non-significant. CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that measuring sleeping heart rate in non-experimental daily life could be an objective supplementary method to measure the severity of depression and perhaps indicate presence of insomnia.
Nordic Journal of Psychiatry, 2015, Vol 69, Issue 2, p. 118-125
Adolescent; Adult; Bipolar Disorder; Case-Control Studies; Depressive Disorder; Female; Heart Rate; Humans; Male; Middle Aged; Monitoring, Ambulatory; Psychiatric Status Rating Scales; Psychomotor Performance; Reproducibility of Results; Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders; Young Adult; Evaluation Studies; Journal Article