Assessing the Usability of a Chatbot for Mental Health Care

Gillian Cameron, David Cameron, Gavin Megaw, RR Bond, Maurice Mulvenna, Siobhan O'Neill, C Armour, Michael McTear

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)
2640 Downloads (Pure)


The aim of this paper is to assess the usability of a chatbot for mental health care within a social enterprise. Chatbots are becoming more prevalent in our daily lives, as we can now use them to book flights, manage savings, and check the weather. Chatbots are increasingly being used in mental health care, with the emergence of “virtual therapists”. In this study, the usability of a chatbot named iHelpr has been assessed. iHelpr has been developed to provide guided self-assessment, and tips for the following areas: stress, anxiety, depression, sleep, and self esteem. This study used a questionnaire developed by Chatbottest, and the System Usability Scale to assess the usability of iHelpr. The participants in this study enjoyed interacting with the chatbot, and found it easy to use. However, the study highlighted areas that need major improvements, such as Error Management and Intelligence. A list of recommendations has been developed to improve the usability of the iHelpr chatbot.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternet Science
Subtitle of host publicationINSCI 2018 International Workshops, St. Petersburg, Russia, October 24–26, 2018, Revised Selected Papers
EditorsAsbjørn Følstad, Harry Halpin, Heiko Niedermayer, Svetlana S. Bodrunova, Anna Smoliarova, Olessia Koltsova, Polina Kolozaridi, Leonid Yuldashev
Place of PublicationSpringer Nature Switzerland AG 2019
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-17705-8
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-17704-1
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 17 Apr 2019
Event5th International Conference on Internet Science, INSCI 2018 - St. Petersburg, Russian Federation
Duration: 24 Oct 201826 Oct 2018

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume11551 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Conference5th International Conference on Internet Science, INSCI 2018
Country/TerritoryRussian Federation
CitySt. Petersburg


  • Chatbot usability
  • Chatbots
  • Human Computer Interaction
  • Mental healthcare
  • Microsoft Bot Framework
  • System Usability Scale
  • User experience


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