Identification of behavioural parameters in daily life activities of older people for mental health monitoring.

Author: Oscar Martínez Mozos
STSM Period: 2018-02-24 – 2018-03-01
ECI: Yes
Hosting institution: Babes-Bolyai University, Romania
From ITC: No

Summary
The objective of this STSM is to discuss the activities and behaviours of elderly during daily life that could be more indicative of depression, e.g. change of patterns when sleeping, eating or cleanliness, with psychologists at BabesBolyai University. In addition, we will study the feasibility of monitoring these behaviours using unobtrusive sensors. The output of this STSM will be used to design a home sensor ecology oriented to mental health monitoring. I believe this research is very relevant to the COST action SHELD-ON, since its objective is to create smart environments to improve the health of elderly, in this case, their mental health. I think my proposal is interesting for the three working groups since the intelligent mental monitoring needs of smart furniture equipped with sensors in order to register the daily life activity of people (WG1). Moreover, it needs of artificial intelligence algorithms (ICT) to process the data an infer mental states (WG2). And finally, the main objective is to improve the mental health of people (WG3). This STSM, however, may be more relevant to WG1, because the discussed potential behavioural patterns might include high interaction with furniture at home, e.g. bed, doors or fridge. * Background Older citizens in Europe wish to stay in their homes for as long as possible and enjoy an active and healthy ageing. The number of older people living alone has increased to 13.14% in EU [EUR15]. Those in later life are more at risk of age-related impairments such as poor mental health. Moreover, it will be difficult to cover all demands for home assistance in the near future due to shortages of available health workers and doctors [WHO]. Therefore, there is an urgent need for new and innovative forms of support and health care for older people. Depression affects 12% of older people in EU (11.3 million) and is the main illness in older people ahead of dementia [COP04]. The prevalence of depressive symptoms in older people may be as high as 20%. However, depression is known to be under-diagnosed and under-treated and it is often considered a forgotten matter. * Objectives O1. To identify the activities and behaviours of elderly during daily life that could be more indicative of depression, e.g. change of patterns when sleeping, eating or cleanliness, with psychologists at Babes-Bolyai University. O2. To study the feasibility of monitoring these behaviours using unobtrusive sensors. O3. To design a home sensor ecology for mental health monitoring. * Description of the work to be carried out by the visitor at the host institution Together with psychologists from Babes-Bolyai University, the applicant will discuss and collect information about the activities for daily life that are more indicative of symptoms of low mood or depression. The sources and input for this task will be the literature on psychology and psychotherapy about depression and low mood; and the expertise on psychotherapy of the host researchers. Once the activities are identified, we will study the feasibility of monitoring these behaviours using unobtrusive sensors. Experiences of the host researcher in previous EU projects about mental health monitoring will be key in this step. Finally, it is expected to prepare a guidelines for a sensor ecology or mental health monitoring. In this step, previous AAL systems for mental monitoring will be also reviewed and discussed with the host researchers * Justification for choice of host institution The Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy at Babes-Bolyai University has been participating in several EU projects on the application of ICT and robotics to monitor and assist people with mental problems including children with autism spectrum disorder (project dream2020) and people with depression (project help4mood). In addition they have extensive expertise in cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) which is commonly used to treat anxiety and depression. * Prospected Outputs The STSM will potentially result in a review paper about AAL sensors for depression monitoring. Targeted journal will be the IEEE Journal of Biomedical and Health Informatics (jbhi.embs.org). The paper will also provide a guidelines to design a sensor ecology for depression monitoring. * Benefits of the STSM The host will benefit from the expertise of the visitor in intelligent processing of sensor data. The visitor will benefit from expertise of the hosts in psychotherapy. Both, host and visitor, have previously worked together in several EU project proposals and are willing to continue this cooperation in future EU calls related to this topic. * References [EUR15] EUROSTAT statistics explained, http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statisticsexplained, [WHO] “Ageing and lifecourse,” http://www.who.int/ageing, [COP04] Copeland, J. R., Beekman, A. T., Braam, A. W., Dewey, M. E., Delespaul, P., Fuhrer, R., … & Magnusson, H. (2004). Depression among older people in Europe: the EURODEP studies. World Psychiatry, 3(1), 45-49.