Guidelines for Designing Language and Conversational Content for Health and Mental Health Chatbots

Heidi Nieminen, Anna-Kaisa Vartiainen, RR Bond, Emilia Laukkanen, Maurice Mulvenna, Lauri Kuosmanen

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review

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Within the past decade, chatbots have become a popular method to deliver low-threshold health interventions. There are several mental health chatbots available in app stores. A plethora of studies have been conducted on their user experience, usability, as well as technical issues, and several studies do offer recommendations for design implications. Oftentimes, they cover the chatbot development process broadly. However, the language and conversational content of health and mental health chatbots have been studied less, and research still appears fragmented. To improve user engagement with chatbots, the language is crucial: based on previous studies, e.g., perceptions of impersonal close- ness, intention to use, satisfaction, and trust are related to interaction, politeness, and quality of the information. In many development projects, chatbot conversational design is a multi-disciplinary challenge that requires cooperation. To foster health and mental health professionals in the role as conversational designers, compiling recent findings about how to author health chatbot conversations is important. This poster presentation provides tentative results of an integrative literature review which aims to address the following question: What kind of guidelines exist for health and mental health chatbot conversation design? A systematic search was conducted in relevant, multidisciplinary databases with keywords “text-based chatbots”, “conversational design”, “guidelines or recommendations”, and “health or mental health”. After two reviewers independently screened 1122 titles and abstracts, and 142 full texts, 16 articles were selected. Thematic analysis will be used to reflect previous knowledge and enumerate recommendations which will support health care professionals working in multidisciplinary health chatbot development teams as content and conversational designers. This work is in progress and the analysis will be completed during the summer.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages2
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 13 Sept 2023
EventEuropean Conference on Mental Health - Ljubljana, Slovakia
Duration: 12 Sept 202315 Sept 2023
Conference number: 11


ConferenceEuropean Conference on Mental Health
Abbreviated titleECMH
Internet address


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