Does the use of an automated tool for self-reporting mood by patients with bipolar disorder bias the collected data?
Automating data collection from patients can improve data quality, enhance compliance, and decrease costs in longitudinal studies. About half of all households in industrialized countries now have a home computer.
While we previously validated the ChronoRecord software for self-reporting mood on a home computer with patients who have bipolar disorder, this study further investigates whether this technology created a bias in the collected data.
During the validation study, 80 of 96 (83%) patients returned 8662 days of data (mean, 114.7 +/- 32.3 SD days). The patients' demographics were compared with those of similar longitudinal studies in which patients used paper-based data collection tools. In addition, because demographic characteristics may influence attitudes toward technology, observer-rated scores on the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale and Young Mania Rating Scale were used to group patients by severity of illness, and the self-reported mood ratings were analyzed for evidence of bias from the patients' gender, ethnicity, diagnosis, age, disability status, or years of education. Analysis was performed using the 2-way analysis of variance and general linear model.
The patients' demographic characteristics were very similar to those of patients with bipolar disorder who participated in comparable longitudinal studies using paper-based tools. After grouping the patients by severity of illness, none of the demographic variables had a significant effect on the patients' self-reported mood using the automated tool.
The use of a computer does not seem to bias sample data. As with studies using paper-based self-reporting, results from studies of patients using ChronoRecord software on a home computer to report mood can be generalized.
Available from: Gilles Bertschy
- "Two studies have demonstrated concurrent validity of self-reporting with the ChronoRecord software and clinician ratings using the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAMD) and the Young Mania Rating Scale (YMRS) [83, 84]. Furthermore, although a potentially serious bias could be related to the ability of people to use a computer, another study showed that age, years of education, gender, diagnosis, and disability status did not seem to bias patients' use of the ChronoRecord software . A similar study that compared a paper version of the LCM and an online version also demonstrated that patients filled in the electronic chart more often and more carefully than the paper chart . "
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Available from: cs.tcd.ie
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