Unveiling patterns of affective responses in daily life may improve outcome prediction in depression: A momentary assessment study

M. Wichers*, F. Peeters, N. Geschwind, N. Jacobs, C. J. P. Simons, C. Derom, E. Thiery, P. H. Delespaul, J. van Os

*Corresponding author for this work

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Objective: Daily life affective responses are closely linked to vulnerability and resilience in depression. Prediction of future clinical course may be improved if information on daily life emotional response patterns is taken into account. Method: Female subjects with a history of major depression (n = 83), recruited from a population twin register, participated in a longitudinal study using momentary assessment technology with 4 follow-up measurements. The effect of baseline daily life emotional response patterns (affect variability, stress-sensitivity and reward experience) on follow-up depressive symptomatology was examined. Results: Both reward experience (B = -0.30, p = 0.001) and negative affect variability (B = 0.46, p = 0.001) predicted future negative affective symptoms independent of all other dynamic emotional patterns and conventional predictors. Conclusion: Daily life information on dynamic emotional patterns adds to the prediction of future clinical course, independent of severity of symptoms and neuroticism score. Better prediction of course may improve decision-making regarding quantitative and qualitative aspects of treatment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-195
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2010


  • Depression
  • Recurrence
  • Positive emotions
  • Resilience
  • Daily life affective responses

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