Towards continuous mental state detection in everyday settings: investigating between-subjects variations in a longitudinal study

Open Access
Conference Proceedings
Authors: Lea BerkemeierWim KamphuisHerman De VriesAnne-Marie BrouwerJan Ubbo Van BaardewijkMaarten SchaddHilbrand OldenhuisRuud VerdaasdonkLisette Van Gemert-Pijnen

Abstract: Maintaining mental health can be quite challenging, especially when exposed to stressful situations. In many cases, mental health problems are recognized too late to effectively intervene and prevent adverse outcomes. Recent advances in the availability and reliability of wearable technologies offer opportunities for continuously monitoring mental states, which may be used to improve a person’s mental health. Previous studies attempting to detect and predict mental states with different modalities have shown only small to moderate effect sizes. This limited success may be due to the large variability between individuals regarding e.g., ways of coping with stress or behavioral patterns associated with positive or negative feelings. A study was set up for the detection of mental states based on longitudinal wearable and contextual sensing, targeted at investigating between-subjects variations in terms of predictors of mental states and variations in how predictors relate to mental states. At the end of March 2022, 16 PhD candidates from the Netherlands started to participate in the study. Over nine months, we collected data in terms of their daily mental states (valence and arousal), continuous physiological data (Oura ring) and smartphone data (AWARE framework including GPS and smartphone usage). From the raw data, we aggregated daily values for each participant in terms of sleep, physical activity, mental states, phone usage and GPS movement. First results (six months into the study at the time of writing) indicate that almost all participants show a large variability in ratings of daily mental states, which is a prerequisite for predictive modeling. Direction, strength and standard deviations of Spearman correlations between valence, arousal and the different variables suggest that several predictors of valence and arousal are more subject dependent than others. In future analyses, we will test and compare different versions of predictive modeling to highlight the potential of wearable technologies for mental state monitoring and the personalized prediction of the development of mental problems.

Keywords: Mental State, Detection, Wearable, Monitoring, Mental Health, Longitudinal, Personalized, Sensor

DOI: 10.54941/ahfe1003013

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