Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Relational Agents and Virtual Health Coaches

Relational Agents and Virtual Health Coaches : "Schizophrenia affects 1% of the population, and requires long-term management of symptoms. With medication adherence, symptoms can be controlled permitting individuals with this condition to enjoy a fuller, more productive life. However, the incidence of medication non-adherence in schizophrenia approaches 50% the first year and sometimes 75% the second year. Research has shown that psycho-education plus the interpersonal relationship of a health care provider can affect outcomes in a positive way by improving adherence, decreasing hospital re-admissions, and improving symptoms. The objective of this project is to develop and evaluate a home desktop computer-based relational agent to promote medication adherence among patients with schizophrenia. Patients will have a daily consultation with the agent about their medication-taking behavior, obstacles to adherence and coping strategies for medication side effects."

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