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Health InformaticsA Patient-Centered Approach to Diabetes$
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Barbara M. Hayes and William Aspray

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780262014328

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262014328.001.0001

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Relational Agents for Chronic Disease Self-Management

Relational Agents for Chronic Disease Self-Management

(p.181) 6 Relational Agents for Chronic Disease Self-Management
Health Informatics

Timothy Bickmore

The MIT Press

This chapter examines the role of conversational computer agents, commonly known as avatars, in health behavior change interventions for diabetes patients. It suggests that conversational computer agents can play a major role in the chronic disease management process by providing patients with an additional source of information about their disease, treatment regimen and adherence level, as well as the motivational support for taking care of themselves. It also considers the possibility of developing disease management counseling agents to engender rapport and trust with patients over time through simulated caring and empathy.

Keywords:   conversational computer agents, avatars, health behavior change, diabetes patients, chronic disease management, motivational support, rapport, trust, caring, empathy

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