One of the main symptoms of bipolar disorder is changes in speech. During mania, speech increases in rate, rhythm, and volume. During depression, the opposite occurs. The purpose of this study was to use special computer software to analyze the sound waves of speech and identify changes that may happen before a mood episode.
Participants in this study were given a smart phone that is slightly modified to include an application that records outgoing speech. Voice patterns were analyzed by computer software that is programmed to detect changes in the physical elements of speech such as amount of speech, pitch, rate, rhythm, and volume.
All analyses were computer based, speech encrypted, and the research team did not listen to the actual contents of speech. In addition, weekly recorded clinical assessments were conducted for the duration of the study. Participants for this study were recruited from the Prechter flagship Longitudinal Study of Bipolar Disorder. Both participants with bipolar disorder and unaffected controls were examined for comparison.
This study has received approval from IRBMED: HUM00052163