TRANS-ID Tapering

There is a need for a more accurate assessment of personalized risk of transitions towards higher levels of depressive symptoms. Because there is a chance that depressive symptoms return during antidepressant treatment discontinuation. In the TRANS-ID Tapering project, we therefore investigate the micro-changes that take place during the tapering of antidepressant medication. We examine whether we can signal an increase in depressive symptoms ahead of time.

Data collection

This project gathers information in a few different ways:

  • Over the course of 4 months, participants answer questions on a smartphone 5 times a day. The diary questions cover topics such as mood, activities and environment. A list of diary questions takes about 2 minutes to complete.
  • Once a week, participants complete a depression questionnaire on a smartphone to monitor any changes in depressive symptoms during a period of 6 months. This questionnaire takes about 2 minutes to fill out.
  • Participants measure their own heart rate for 5 minutes, twice a day, in the morning and in the evening, for a period of 4 months. We teach participants how to conduct the heart rate measurements themselves, with an easy to use, high-tech sensor and a smartphone.
  • Movement is recorded using a special wristband that we ask participants to wear continuously for a period of 4 months. They can sleep and shower without needing to take it off.

Our target population

To participate in the study, individuals should meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Have a sufficient command of the Dutch language.
  • Have made a shared decision to taper their antidepressant medication and have set up a tapering-plan with their physician.
  • Have a history of depression (a depressive episode in the past).
  • Are not currently experiencing a depressive episode.
  • Are 18 years or older.
  • Have no current psychotic symptoms or history of mania.
  • Are able to operate a smartphone.
  • Agree that their treating physician will be informed of their participation in our study and that we verify that a tapering plan has been made in consultation with their doctor.
  • Agree that they and their physician will be informed if we detect a strong increase in depressive symptoms, or if any incidental findings that bear medical relevance to the participant are found after completing the study.
  • Agree that their anonymized data, together with the data of other individuals, will be used for the publication of scientific articles. The results in the publications will not be traceable to any particular individual.

Tapering safely

Our project focuses on individuals that have made a shared decision with their physician to taper their medication. For more information, we refer them to a (Dutch) brochure from Utrecht University 'Doorgaan of stoppen met antidepressiva' that provides information to help people make an informed choice about whether to continue or stop the use of antidepressants. Additional information on tapering strips can be found on the Cinderella website or the Tapering strips website.

Incentives and motivations for participants

Taking part in the TRANS-ID Tapering study also has some advantages for our participants. It may give insights into which signals indicate a shift in symptoms for each individual. At the end of the daily diary period we create a personal report for each participant that shows the course of their answers over time. Furthermore, participation in the project helps us make an important contribution to science. We expect that this project will be a new and explorative step forward within the field of psychopathology research and will aid in developing knowledge that is relevant to the individual patient with mental health problems. Finally, we reimburse participants of the project for their time and efforts with a maximum of €250.

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Keep me informed

Any questions specific to this project can be directed to Arnout Smit, MSc (050-361 9005;

Note for Dutch-speakers: Als u geïnteresseerd bent in deelname, verander dan de website-taal naar Nederlands (klik op het vlaggetje bovenaan) om het aanmeldformulier op deze pagina in te vullen.