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Multimodal sensor-based identification of stress and compulsive actions in children with obsessive-compulsive disorder for telemedical treatment

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posted on 2022-04-15, 03:39 authored by Annika ThierfelderAnnika Thierfelder, Jonas Primbs, Björn Severitt, Carolin Sarah Hohnecker, Jan Kühnhausen, Annika Kristin Alt, Anja Pascher, Ursula Wörz, Helene Passon, Jens Seemann, Christian Ernst, Heinrich Lautenbacher, Martin Holderried, Enkelejda Kasneci, Martin Giese, Andreas Bulling, Michael Menth, Gottfried Maria Barth, Winfried Ilg, Karsten Hollmann, Tobias Johann Renner
In modern psychotherapy, digital health technology offers advanced and personalized therapy options, increasing availability as well as ecological validity. These aspects have proven to be highly relevant for children and adolescents with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Exposure and Response Prevention therapy, which is the state-of-the-art treatment for OCD, builds on the reconstruction of everyday life exposure to anxious situations. However, while compulsive behavior predominantly occurs in home environments, exposure situations during therapy are limited to clinical settings. Telemedical treatment allows to shift from this limited exposure reconstruction to exposure situations in real life. In the SSTeP KiZ study (smart sensor technology in telepsychotherapy for children and adolescents with OCD), we combine video therapy with wearable sensors delivering physiological and behavioral measures to objectively determine the stress level of patients. The setup allows to gain information from exposure to stress in a realistic environment both during and outside of therapy sessions. In a first pilot study, we explored the sensitivity of individual sensor modalities to different levels of stress and anxiety. For this, we captured the obsessive-compulsive behavior of five adolescents with an ECG chest belt, inertial sensors capturing hand movements, and an eye tracker. Despite their prototypical nature, our results deliver strong evidence that the examined sensor modalities yield biomarkers allowing for personalized detection and quantification of stress and anxiety. This opens up future possibilities to evaluate the severity of individual compulsive behavior based on multivariate state classification in real-life situations.


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Submitting Author's Institution

Hertie Institute for Clinical Brain Research

Submitting Author's Country

  • Germany