Towards Chatbots to Support Bibliotherapy Preparation and Delivery

Patrick McAllister, James Kerr, Michael McTear, Maurice Mulvenna, Raymond Bond, Karen Kirby, Joseph Morning, Danni Glover

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

6 Citations (Scopus)
1 Downloads (Pure)


Chatbots have become an increasingly popular choice for organisations in delivering services to users. Chatbots are beginning to become popular in mental health applications and are being seen as an accessible strategy in delivering mental health support alongside clinical/therapy treatment. The aim of this exploratory study was to investigate initial perceptions of the use and acceptance/adoption of text based chatbots by bibliotherapy facilitators and to also investigate perceptions of bibliotherapy facilitators using a bibliotherapy support chatbot through usability testing. Interviews were conducted to explore the relationship of bibliotherapy facilitators with chatbots, facilitators were then asked to complete a usability study using an early prototype chatbot. Post interviews were also conducted after usability study to discuss further improvements and requirements. Analysis of the interview transcripts reveal that bibliotherapy facilitators were keen on using chatbots to guide them in preparing for their bibliotherapy session for preparation and delivery. Facilitators stated that the reliability of the chatbot was a concern in relation to chatbot content and it is important to ensure that meaningful and quick conversational exchanges are designed. Analysis of the interview transcripts also stressed the importance of encoding a personality into the chatbot along with appropriate content to effectively guide facilitators. Facilitators stressed that appropriate onboarding and affordance measures should be integrated into the system to ensure that users are able to correctly interact chatbot and to understand the purpose of the chatbot as well as using personalisation for meaningful conversational exchanges.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationChatbot Research and Design - 3rd International Workshop, CONVERSATIONS 2019, Revised Selected Papers
Subtitle of host publicationThird International Workshop, CONVERSATIONS 2019 Amsterdam, The Netherlands, November 19–20, 2019 Revised Selected Papers
EditorsAsbjørn Følstad, Theo Araujo, Symeon Papadopoulos, Effie Lai-Chong Law, Ole-Christoffer Granmo, Ewa Luger, Petter Bae Brandtzaeg
Place of PublicationSwitzerland
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-39540-7
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-39539-1
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 19 Jan 2020
Event3rd International Workshop on Chatbot Research and Design, CONVERSATIONS 2019 - Amsterdam, Netherlands
Duration: 19 Nov 201920 Nov 2019

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume11970 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Conference3rd International Workshop on Chatbot Research and Design, CONVERSATIONS 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, Springer Nature Switzerland AG.


  • Bibliotherapy
  • Chatbots
  • Conversation
  • Mental health


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