How Persuasive is a Virtual Coach in Terms of Promoting Web-based Intervention User Engagement? Exploring a Potential Match between User Support Needs and a Virtual Coach’s Motivational Capabilities

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Abstract

A selection of web-based eHealth interventions have evolved from innovative prototypes to evidence-based and clinically applied solutions for mental diseases such as depression and anxiety. Open-access, self-guided types of those solutions hold the promise of reaching and treating a large population against reasonable costs.
However, a considerable factor that currently hinders the effectiveness of these self-guided web-based interventions is the high level of attrition. The absence of a human caregiver apparently has a negative effect on user adherence. Although clear evidence on the rationale for non-adherence is currently missing, recent studies indicate that user support could an important causal factor. In this paper we describe the protocol of an exploratory user study which aims to identify the persuasive features of virtual coaches in terms of user support. Virtual coaches are anthropomorphized instances of software, designed to engage and motivate users.
We will measure user experience, engagement, motivation and perceived persuasiveness during usage of the ‘Living to the Full’ intervention. We will compare a condition with and without empathic virtual coach condition to explore its supportive capabilities.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Fourth International Workshop on Behavior Change Support Systems
Subtitle of host publicationco-located with the 11th International Conference on Persuasive Technology (PERSUASIVE 2016)
EditorsOlga Kulyk, Liseth Siemons, Harri Oinas-Kukkonen, Lisette van Gemert-Pijnen
PublisherCEUR
Pages66-73
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventFourth International Workshop on Behavior Change Support Systems, BCSS 2016: Epic for Change, the Pillars for Persuasive Technology for Smart Societies - Universität Salzburg, Salzburg, Austria
Duration: 5 Apr 20167 Apr 2016
Conference number: 4

Publication series

NameCEUR Workshop Proceedings
PublisherCEUR.org
Volume1573
ISSN (Print)1613-0073

Conference

ConferenceFourth International Workshop on Behavior Change Support Systems, BCSS 2016
Abbreviated titleBCSS
CountryAustria
CitySalzburg
Period5/04/167/04/16

Keywords

  • METIS-319744
  • IR-102651
  • eHealth
  • Web-based interventions
  • Embodied conversational agents
  • Virtual coaches
  • Virtual Humans
  • Affective computing
  • Behavior change support systems
  • BCSS
  • Intelligent Tutoring Systems
  • ITS

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