October 10, 2014
Faculty of Medicine researchers have released a new mobile-friendly web tool called MoodFx, which has been designed to help Canadian workers with clinical depression.
The site enables users to partner with their mental health care providers to track outcomes before, during, and after treatment. MoodFx uses evidence-based questionnaires to assess emotional well-being in four areas: depression, anxiety, cognition, and work performance. Users can use MoodFx to screen for depression and anxiety problems to see whether they should seek help. Information is stored anonymously and securely.
For people in treatment, MoodFx provides reminders to check symptoms regularly and before appointments with health care providers. MoodFx also charts the results over time so that users can print or show their charts to their doctor from their smartphone or tablet.
Developed by the Mood Disorders Centre at UBC Hospital and the UBC eHealth Strategy Office, the project was led by Raymond Lam, Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Director of the Mood Disorders Centre. Dr. Lam says MoodFx addresses a gap in depression treatment – the need for better screening and measurement-based care by leveraging the ubiquity of mobile technology.
“Almost everyone has a smartphone, so why not use it to screen for depression and monitor treatment? MoodFx is simple and easy to use, for both patients and doctors. With MoodFx, people can see how their symptoms improve over time, and can alert their clinicians when they are not improving,” Dr. Lam says.
Depression is one of the leading causes of disability world-wide, especially in working-age adults. In Canada, as many as seven in ten people with clinical depression continue to work, despite struggling with their symptoms.