Engaging women with an embodied conversational agent to deliver mindfulness and lifestyle recommendations: A feasibility randomized control trial
McCue, Kelly D.
Negash, Lily M.
White, Laura F.
Jack, Brian W.
Bickmore, Timothy W.
UMass Chan AffiliationsDepartment of Family Medicine and Community Health
Center for Integrated Primary Care
KeywordsEmbodied conversational agent
Mindfulness based stress reduction
Alternative and Complementary Medicine
Dietetics and Clinical Nutrition
Movement and Mind-Body Therapies
Psychiatry and Psychology
Public Health Education and Promotion
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AbstractOBJECTIVE: This randomized controlled trial evaluates the feasibility of using an Embodied Conversational Agent (ECA) to teach lifestyle modifications to urban women. METHODS: Women were randomized to either 1) an ECA (content included: mindfulness, stress management, physical activity, and healthy eating) or 2) patient education sheets mirroring same content plus a meditation CD/MP3 once a day for one month. General outcome measures included: number of stress management techniques used, physical activity levels, and eating patterns. RESULTS: Sixty-one women ages 18 to 50 were enrolled. On average, 51% identified as white, 26% as black, 23% as other races; and 20% as Hispanic. The major stress management techniques reported at baseline were: exercise (69%), listening to music (70%), and social support (66%). After one month, women randomized to the ECA significantly decreased alcohol consumption to reduce stress (p=0.03) and increased daily fruit consumption by an average of 2 servings compared to the control (p=0.04). CONCLUSION: It is feasible to use an ECA to promote health behaviors on stress management and healthy eating among diverse urban women. PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: Compared to patient information sheets, ECAs provide promise as a way to teach healthy lifestyle behaviors to diverse urban women.
Patient Educ Couns. 2017 Sep;100(9):1720-1729. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2017.04.015. Epub 2017 Apr 26. Link to article on publisher's site
Permanent Link to this Itemhttp://hdl.handle.net/20.500.14038/26834
At the time of publication, Paula Gardiner was not yet affiliated with the University of Massachusetts Medical School.