Reference : Final report of the effectiveness study in Virtual Coach Reaches Out to me project
Reports : External report
Social & behavioral sciences, psychology : Multidisciplinary, general & others
Entrepreneurship and Innovation / Audit
Final report of the effectiveness study in Virtual Coach Reaches Out to me project
Aleksic, Gabrijela mailto [University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Language and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education (FLSHASE) > Integrative Research Unit: Social and Individual Development (INSIDE) >]
Roelofsma, Peter mailto [Free University of Amsterdam]
[en] virtual ; effectiveness ; loneliness
[en] One out of three persons in our society suffers from social or emotional loneliness. This percentage is even higher in the population of people who suffer from chronic diseases. Loneliness has pervasive effects on mental health but it also has negative effects on physical well-being. The aim of this paper is to present a series of pilot studies evaluating the development of an ambient virtual coaching system. This system, called V2me (Virtual Coach reaches Out to Me) offers a friendship enrichment course for people in need for improving their social network. Several pilot studies were performed with about 50 participants in total who evaluated the system that was developed using a living lab approach. In this approach new health media was developed from a user-centered process that allows frequent iterations of user evaluation and involvement. The paper presents the results of the first five iterations. The reactions on receiving the system and experiences during instruction were increasingly positive over these iterations of the system development phase. Over time the system has passed the user’s choice selection criteria. Participants have been expressing a clear interest for choosing and wanting to use the system in their daily lives. However, the system did not pass the persistent use selection criteria when the system was brought and left for independent use. It appeared that participants did not use it very much during the day as expected. Moreover, participants did not perform all the tasks (i.e., messaging, Skyping) that they were asked to achieve on a daily basis. The final goal of the V2me system, i.e. establishing social relations between elderly persons, was not achieved as well, although this might be due to the limited time space of using the system and its facilities. Given these observation, it is concluded that more iterations in the system development are needed for the system in order to pass the habitual use criteria which is needed for its effectiveness.
European AAL Joint Programme
Virtual Coach Reaches Out To Me

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