The development and evaluation of an emotional support algorithm for carers

Kirsten A. Smith, Judith Masthoff, Nava Tintarev, Wendy Moncur

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Carers - people who provide regular support for a friend or relative who could not manage without them - frequently report high levels of stress. Good emotional support could help relieve this stress. This study uses seven scenarios that depict
different types of stress and acquires emotional support messages for them. We then categorize and evaluate the emotional support for different types of stress. We found that telling the carer they are appreciated and offering support are the best types of emotional support. Additionally, we found that how well a supporter sympathises with a situation affects the type of support they consider suitable. We describe and evaluate an algorithm that selects different categories of support to be used by an intelligent virtual agent to provide emotional support to carers experiencing different types of stress.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-196
Number of pages16
JournalIntelligenza Artificiale
Issue number2
Early online date2 Dec 2014
Publication statusPublished - 9 Dec 2014


  • agents
  • carers
  • stress
  • emotional support
  • eHealth


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