A precision medicine approach for psychiatric disease based on repeated symptom scores

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


For psychiatric diseases, rich information exists in the serial measurement of mental health symptom scores. We present a precision medicine framework for using the trajectories of multiple symptoms to make personalized predictions about future symptoms and related psychiatric events. Our approach fits a Bayesian hierarchical model that estimates a population-average trajectory for all symptoms and individual deviations from the average trajectory, then fits a second model that uses individual symptom trajectories to estimate the risk of experiencing an event. The fitted models are used to make clinically relevant predictions for new individuals. We demonstrate this approach on data from a study of antipsychotic therapy for schizophrenia, predicting future scores for positive, negative, and general symptoms, and the risk of treatment failure in 522 schizophrenic patients with observations over 8 weeks. While precision medicine has focused largely on genetic and molecular data, the complementary approach we present illustrates that innovative analytic methods for existing data can extend its reach more broadly. The systematic use of repeated measurements of psychiatric symptoms offers the promise of precision medicine in the field of mental health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)147-155
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Psychiatric Research
StatePublished - Dec 2017


  • Data mining
  • Mental health
  • Patient reported outcome measures
  • Precision medicine
  • Schizophrenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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