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Facial Expression Analysis in Mood Assessment

  • Research type

    Research Study

  • Full title

    Analysing Patients’ Facial Expressions to improve Mood Assessment (APFEMA)



  • Contact name

    Kate Saunders

  • Contact email

  • Sponsor organisation

    Clinical Trials Research Governance, University of Oxford

  • Duration of Study in the UK

    1 years, 3 months, 12 days

  • Research summary

    Measuring mood and depression severity in patients with mood disorders generally depends upon patients' self-report or clinicians' interviews, both of which are susceptible to bias. Recent developments in automated analysis of people's facial expressions offer a less biased marker of mood, which could in the future be offered on personal devices such as smart phones to monitor patients' mood remotely.
    This observational study will test markers of mood from automated analysis of participants' own facial expressions, comparing these digital estimates to self-reported mood in patients and healthy controls, and to clinician-rated depression severity in patients.
    The study will take just 20 minutes, during which participants will answer questions about their mood, perform an emotion recognition task, and be asked for feedback on the study. During the study, video and audio will be recorded and later used to calculate automated estimates of mood.
    This research is relevant to patients with mood disorders, for whom digital estimates of mood will be compared to the same measures from healthy controls. For patients - adults referred to the bipolar disorder (BD) and treatment resistent depression (TRD) clinic - the study will be conducted in the clinic between the usual service assessments. Healthy volunteers will be recruited to participate in the same 20-minute study, but in the Department of Psychiatry.

  • REC name

    London - Camden & Kings Cross Research Ethics Committee

  • REC reference


  • Date of REC Opinion

    7 Aug 2019

  • REC opinion

    Further Information Favourable Opinion