Your questions answered

Mood disorders, including depression and bipolar disorder, affect as much as 17 percent of the world’s population and are associated with substantial risk of suicide and premature death. Our prior work and other data suggest there may be several identifiable subgroups of patients with mood disorders who all experience the illness differently. Certain clinical, social, and genetic factors may be associated with and predictive of different subgroups. This study seeks to examine those connections in real world information, with patients who are receiving care for mood disorders.

By identifying the clinical, social, and genetic factors associated with these different groups in real-world settings, the study team hopes to better understand which treatment options may be best suited to the needs of individual patients. One day this information may lead to earlier diagnosing of illness and identifying of which treatment may be most helpful.

Patients in the Johns Hopkins Health System aged 18 years or older who have a history of a mood disorder, including depression or bipolar disorder, will be eligible to be enrolled in the study. Potential participants may be asked by their doctor or a member of their clinical team whether they would like to be a part of the study.
You will be asked to provide a small blood sample or, if this is not possible, a spit sample for collection of DNA. You will also be interviewed about your mood history by a trained interviewer for about an hour. You also will be asked to fill out a questionnaire about the course of your illness and treatments and additional follow up questionnaires every six months for the 24-month duration of the study. These questionnaires can be emailed to you or sent to you by regular mail.
No, participation will not change anything regarding your care or treatment by your Johns Hopkins team. You will continue to receive routine care during the study and after your participation ends.
The sample will be collected in person at a Johns Hopkins facility. Alternatively, we will send a spit collection kit to your home, and you will be asked to provide a sample and return it using a self-addressed mailing kit.

The samples will be processed and stored at the Johns Hopkins Biological Repository. Your samples will be indexed by an anonymous ID that will allow the study team to link samples with the clinical data gathered about participants, including you. The JHBR will not have access to any personally identifying information about you.

Your DNA samples and genome-wide data from these samples will be made available in the future to qualified researchers to examine scientific questions related to human health. Those samples will be de-identified -- your identifying information will not be present -- before they are released. Only approved study members at Johns Hopkins will have access to any identifying information that links your samples and data.

No, there are no costs associated with being a part of this study.

Participants in the study will be compensated based on which items are completed. You will receive compensation in the form of gift cards. If you participate, you will receive a $25 gift card for providing a biosample and completing the baseline self-rated questionnaire, a $25 card for completing the baseline clinical assessment with a professional, and a $15 card every time you complete a follow-up self-rated questionnaire. Gift cards can be received in person after in-person study visits, via mail or via email.

Even though the study team is experienced in protecting confidentiality of research data, there is always the potential risk of loss of confidentiality. Those risks are minimized by following strict protocols, including removal of all identifying data for any research done “downstream” of the study.

If you have questions about the study, please send us an email at moods@jhu.edu.  Or, you may call us at (410) 929-3212.  Please refer to the Moods@Hopkins Study.

Get help

If you or someone you know is having a psychiatric emergency, please call 911

If your mental or emotional state quickly gets worse, or you’re worried about someone you know — help is available. You’re not alone; talk to someone you trust. Sharing a problem is often the first step to recovery.

Moods@Hopkins Study Information
Copyright © 2021 The Johns Hopkins University, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, and The Johns Hopkins Health System Corporation. All rights reserved.