Psychosocial implications of avatar use in supporting therapy for depression

Claudia Pagliari, Christopher Burton, Brian McKinstry, Aurora Szentatotai, Daniel David, Antoni Serrano Blanco, Luis Ferrini, Susanna Albertini, Joan Carlos Castro, Soraya Estevez, Maria Wolters

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Help4Mood is a novel intervention to support the treatment of depressive disorder using an embodied communicative agent (Avatar) to engage the user with therapy tasks. We conducted 10 focus groups with patients and mental health professionals, in the UK, Spain and Romania, in order to explore issues around usability and contextual fit. Emergent themes related to the design and use of Avatars indicated the value of configurability for optimising personalisation and perceived trustworthiness; the importance of supplementing rather than replacing face-to-face interaction, and perceptions of the agent as therapeutic ally or supportive friend. The use of Avatars in psychotherapy is relatively new and its acceptability, value and risks are unknown. These results indicate that users wish to engage with Avatars that meet their personal preferences and fit appropriate role expectations. The perception of Avatar as colleague or friend raises conceptual and ethical issues which merit further research.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAnnual Review of Cybertherapy and Telemedicine 2012
Subtitle of host publicationAdvanced Technologies in the Behavioral, Social and Neurosciences
EditorsBrenda K. Wiederhold, Giuseppe Riva
PublisherIOS Press
Pages329-333
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-61499-121-2
ISBN (Print)978-1-61499-120-5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sep 2012

Publication series

NameStudies in Health Technology and Informatics
PublisherIOS
Volume181
ISSN (Print)0926-9630
ISSN (Electronic)1879-8365

Fingerprint

Depression
Romania
Depressive Disorder
Focus Groups
Ethics
Psychotherapy
Spain
Mental Health
Therapeutics
Research
metsulfuron methyl

Cite this

Pagliari, C., Burton, C., McKinstry, B., Szentatotai, A., David, D., Serrano Blanco, A., ... Wolters, M. (2012). Psychosocial implications of avatar use in supporting therapy for depression. In B. K. Wiederhold, & G. Riva (Eds.), Annual Review of Cybertherapy and Telemedicine 2012: Advanced Technologies in the Behavioral, Social and Neurosciences (pp. 329-333). (Studies in Health Technology and Informatics; Vol. 181). IOS Press. https://doi.org/10.3233/978-1-61499-121-2-329

Psychosocial implications of avatar use in supporting therapy for depression. / Pagliari, Claudia; Burton, Christopher; McKinstry, Brian; Szentatotai, Aurora; David, Daniel; Serrano Blanco, Antoni; Ferrini, Luis; Albertini, Susanna; Castro, Joan Carlos; Estevez, Soraya; Wolters, Maria.

Annual Review of Cybertherapy and Telemedicine 2012: Advanced Technologies in the Behavioral, Social and Neurosciences. ed. / Brenda K. Wiederhold; Giuseppe Riva. IOS Press, 2012. p. 329-333 (Studies in Health Technology and Informatics; Vol. 181).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Pagliari, C, Burton, C, McKinstry, B, Szentatotai, A, David, D, Serrano Blanco, A, Ferrini, L, Albertini, S, Castro, JC, Estevez, S & Wolters, M 2012, Psychosocial implications of avatar use in supporting therapy for depression. in BK Wiederhold & G Riva (eds), Annual Review of Cybertherapy and Telemedicine 2012: Advanced Technologies in the Behavioral, Social and Neurosciences. Studies in Health Technology and Informatics, vol. 181, IOS Press, pp. 329-333. https://doi.org/10.3233/978-1-61499-121-2-329
Pagliari C, Burton C, McKinstry B, Szentatotai A, David D, Serrano Blanco A et al. Psychosocial implications of avatar use in supporting therapy for depression. In Wiederhold BK, Riva G, editors, Annual Review of Cybertherapy and Telemedicine 2012: Advanced Technologies in the Behavioral, Social and Neurosciences. IOS Press. 2012. p. 329-333. (Studies in Health Technology and Informatics). https://doi.org/10.3233/978-1-61499-121-2-329
Pagliari, Claudia ; Burton, Christopher ; McKinstry, Brian ; Szentatotai, Aurora ; David, Daniel ; Serrano Blanco, Antoni ; Ferrini, Luis ; Albertini, Susanna ; Castro, Joan Carlos ; Estevez, Soraya ; Wolters, Maria. / Psychosocial implications of avatar use in supporting therapy for depression. Annual Review of Cybertherapy and Telemedicine 2012: Advanced Technologies in the Behavioral, Social and Neurosciences. editor / Brenda K. Wiederhold ; Giuseppe Riva. IOS Press, 2012. pp. 329-333 (Studies in Health Technology and Informatics).
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