Mobile app may predict depression in pregnant women – ET HealthWorld


New Delhi: A mobile app It could help predict whether a pregnant woman will develop depression in the later stages of pregnancy, according to new research. By asking women to take surveys during the first trimester, researchers identified several risk factors, including sleep quality and food insecurityto develop depression.

“We can ask people a small series of questions and get a good idea of ​​whether they will become depressed,” said lead author Tamar Krishnamurti, an associate professor of general internal medicine in it university of pittsburghUS.

“Surprisingly, many risk factors for future depression are things that can be modified (such as sleep quality, concerns about childbirth, and, most importantly, access to food), which means we can and should do something about it,” he said. Krishnamurti.

Identifying women vulnerable to developing depression early in pregnancy could help tailor preventive care and offer support to address underlying causes, the researchers said.

For the study, researchers analyzed survey responses from 944 pregnant women who used the app as part of a larger study and had no history of depression.

In their first trimester of pregnancy, women answered questions about demographics and their medical historyalong with those about stress and feelings of sadness.

Some of the 944 women also answered optional questions about social factors related to their health, such as food insecurity. All women were screened for depression once every trimester.

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The researchers developed six machine learning models using all the data. The best one was found to be 89 percent accurate in predicting depression in a pregnant woman. A machine learning algorithm is a form of artificial intelligence that learns from past data to make predictions.

The model’s accuracy increased to 93 percent when the researchers included responses to optional questions about health-related social factors.

They found that food insecurity, or access to food, emerged as a major risk factor for pregnant women developing depression in late pregnancy.

Researchers are now developing methods to integrate these survey questions into clinical settings and identify how clinicians might have these conversations with patients about depression risk.

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  • Updated On Jun 10, 2024 at 03:56 PM IST
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  • Posted on Jun 10, 2024 at 03:53 pm IST
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  • 2 min read
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