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Measuring loneliness using passive sensing data from the mobile application BEHAPP

Groot, Jens de (2021) Measuring loneliness using passive sensing data from the mobile application BEHAPP. Research Project 1, Biomedical Sciences.


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Loneliness has numerous implications for health and society. Loneliness can be assessed with help of surveys, but these have several limitations. This could be overcome with the use of passive sensing, which is the measurement of behaviour without active intervention by the subject. Here we investigate whether passive sensing data from the mobile application BEHAPP correlate with survey-based measurements of loneliness. We also study whether scales could be formed from the BEHAPP data and correlate these with scores of loneliness using a principal components analysis. A dataset originating from the PRISM study was used for this. We found that the total number of calls, number of people who called or were called by a subject, number of missed calls and duration of all app and call events correlated significantly and positively with survey scores of loneliness. Four components, phone addiction, calling behaviour, location and missing calls were formed. None of the scales correlated significantly with loneliness. The literature suggests that age and state of disease may interact with some scales and influence the correlation between loneliness and them. We argue that the significance of the correlation between a feature and loneliness may depend upon the specificity of the feature and the diversity in age and disease in the relatively small sample that we used. We suggest that not yet existing features could be correlated to loneliness in future research.

Item Type: Thesis (Research Project 1)
Supervisor name: Roozen, M.C. and Kas, M.J.H.
Degree programme: Biomedical Sciences
Thesis type: Research Project 1
Language: English
Date Deposited: 02 Jul 2021 12:21
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2021 12:21

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