A Scoped Review of the Potential for Supportive Virtual Coaches as Adjuncts to Self-guided Web-Based Interventions

  • Mark R. ScholtenEmail author
  • Saskia M. Kelders
  • Julia E. W. C. van Gemert-Pijnen
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10171)


This study aimed to explore supportive capabilities of VAs with the potential benefit in mind that users of self-guided eHealth interventions could be better supported. Spontaneous empathy and the explicitly expressed intention of non-responsive VAs to deliver user support is likely capable to engage and motivate users. Responsive VAs have even larger potential. However, they are more costly to realize and have a higher risk of failure. Effective user frustration detection and mitigation by Responsive VAs has been empirically demonstrated, but so far within artificial contexts. Altogether it makes sense to further explore the option to add VAs as adjuncts to self-guided eHealth interventions a potential remedy to low adherence.


Virtual agent Embodied conversational agent Virtual human Persuasive technology ehealth 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mark R. Scholten
    • 1
    Email author
  • Saskia M. Kelders
    • 1
  • Julia E. W. C. van Gemert-Pijnen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychology, Health and Technology, Center for eHealth and Wellbeing ResearchUniversity of TwenteEnschedeThe Netherlands

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