School of Computing

Projects

Monitoring Devices in Old Age Depression

A monitoring device to objectively assess functional/ psychosocial impairment in older-age adults with major depression.

 Depression is one of the most common psychiatric disorders, with at least one in six adults meeting the criteria for a major depressive episode at some time in their life. In later-life depression has a huge negative impact on quality of life and is directly associated with functional impairment. Although the illness is defined by the occurrence of low mood, over recent years there has been an increasing understanding of the profile and magnitude of neuropsychological impairments in mood disorders. These have been shown to be of greater magnitude in older age individuals. One of the most important consequences of neuropsychological and emotional processing deficits is their impact on social and everyday functioning and disability. To date, most studies in older age individuals have utilised questionnaire-based measures of everyday function which have major problems with accuracy and validity as they either rely on informant accounts or are self-report. Technological advances such as the actigraph have enabled more precise assessment of locomotor activity and circadian rhythms in normal, everyday living, while within the pervasive computing community, social informatics technologies based on auditory signal processing have been developed that can measure aspects of social interaction using situated measures of spoken communication. Our aim is to develop a monitoring device to objectively assess functional/ psychosocial impairment in older-age adults with major depression. We will call it Sociometer.