Deciphering seasonal depression variations and interplays between weather changes, physical activity, and depression severity in real-world settings: Learnings from RADAR-MDD longitudinal mobile health study

Yuezhou Zhang, Amos A. Folarin, Yatharth Ranjan, Nicholas Cummins, Zulqarnain Rashid, Pauline Conde, Callum Stewart, Shaoxiong Sun, Srinivasan Vairavan, Faith Matcham, Carolin Oetzmann, Sara Siddi, Femke Lamers, Sara Simblett, Til Wykes, David C. Mohr, Josep Maria Haro, Brenda W. J. H. Penninx, Vaibhav A. Narayan, Matthew HotopfRichard J. B. Dobson, Abhishek Pratap, RADAR-CNS consortium

Research output: Working paper/PreprintPreprint

26 Downloads (Pure)


Prior research has shown that changes in seasons and weather can have a significant impact on depression severity. However, findings are inconsistent across populations, and the interplay between weather, behavior, and depression has not been fully quantified. This study analyzed real-world data from 428 participants (a subset; 68.7% of the cohort) in the RADAR-MDD longitudinal mobile health study to investigate seasonal variations in depression (measured through a remote validated assessment - PHQ-8) and examine the potential interplay between dynamic weather changes, physical activity (monitored via wearables), and depression severity. The clustering of PHQ-8 scores identified four distinct seasonal variations in depression severity: one stable trend and three varying patterns where depression peaks in different seasons. Among these patterns, participants within the stable trend had the oldest average age (p=0.002) and the lowest baseline PHQ-8 score (p=0.003). Mediation analysis assessing the indirect effect of weather on physical activity and depression showed significant differences among participants with different affective responses to weather. These findings illustrate the heterogeneity in individuals' seasonal depression variations and responses to weather, underscoring the necessity for personalized approaches to help understand the impact of environmental factors on the real-world effectiveness of behavioral treatments.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Publication statusPublished - 17 Apr 2024


  • stat.AP

Cite this