Towards Gender-sensitive Motivation of Patients with Depression for Cognitive Training with a Socially Assistive Robot

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Conference Proceedings
Authors: Lucas PalettaSandra SchuesslerEva ReininghausMichael MacherMaria FellnerSilvia RusseggerMelanie LengerMartin PszeidaThomas OrgelSandra DraxlerAlfred HaeusslBscnNina DalknerStephan SpatGloria PötzRegina Roller WirnsbergerJulia Zuschnegg

Abstract: Approximately 280 million people in the world suffer from depression, which often leads to cognitive deficits. This paper describes fundamental aspects of the work plan of the Austrian project AMIGA that aims at developing and evaluating a gender-sensitive and customizable Social Assisting Robotic Technology (SAR) including a cognitive training. We intend with the AMIGA-type SAR to significantly increase motivation for cognitive training during the hospital stay, which is hypothesised to improve cognitive functioning. In the first step of the project plan, the requirements of the target group would be estimated using qualitative and quantitative methods (e.g., survey, interviews). Based on the results of the requirement study we plan to develop the interactive SAR prototype that would use human-robot interactions to motivate users to perform cognitive training. We consider to apply adaptive pause management with sensor-based detection of mental fatigue. Target group-specific as well as gender-sensitive content for holistic stimulation with visual, auditory, and interactive elements will be included. The work plan foresees to conduct a field study including persons with symptoms of depression and to evaluate the results in terms of the effects on the persons´ motivation through the application of the AMIGA robotic system platform.

Keywords: depressive symptoms, cognitive training, socially assistive robots, psychiatric hospitals

DOI: 10.54941/ahfe1003969

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