Insights and lessons learned from trialling a mental health chatbot in the wild

Courtney Potts, RR Bond, Maurice Mulvenna, Edel Ennis, Andrea Bickerdike, Edward Coughlan, Thomas Broderick, Con Burns, Michael McTear, Lauri Kuosmanen, Heidi Nieminen, Kyle Boyd, Brian Cahill, Alex Vakaloudis, Indika Dhanapala, Anna-Kaisa Vartiainen, Catrine Kostenius, Martin Malcolm

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

3 Citations (Scopus)
16 Downloads (Pure)


This study reports on the development and 'in the wild' trialling of a chatbot (ChatPal) which promotes good mental wellbeing. A stakeholder-centered approach for design was adopted where end users, mental health professionals and service users were involved in the design which was centered around positive psychology. In the wild usage of the chatbot was investigated from Jul-20-Mar-21. Exploratory analyses of usage metrics were carried out using the event log data. User tenure, unique usage days, total chatbot interactions and average daily interactions were used in K-means clustering to identify user archetypes. The chatbot was used by a variety of age groups (18-65+) and genders, mainly those living in Ireland. K-means clustering identified three clusters: sporadic users (n=4), frequent transient users (n=38) and abandoning users (n=169) each with distinct usage characteristics. This study highlights the importance of event log data analysis for making improvements to the mental health chatbot.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication26th IEEE Symposium on Computers and Communications, ISCC 2021
PublisherIEEE Xplore
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-6654-2744-9
ISBN (Print)978-1-6654-2745-6
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 15 Dec 2021
EventICTS4eHealth - Online conference, Athens, Greece
Duration: 5 Sept 20218 Sept 2021

Publication series

NameProceedings - IEEE Symposium on Computers and Communications
ISSN (Print)1530-1346


Internet address

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The ChatPal consortium acknowledges the support provided by the Interreg VB Northern Periphery & Arctic Programme under the grant for Conversational Interfaces Supporting Mental Health and Wellbeing of People in Sparsely Populated Areas (ChatPal) project number 345.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 IEEE.


  • Conversational user interfaces
  • event log
  • eHealth
  • mental wellbeing
  • co-design
  • COVID-19


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