Simple and Steady Interactions Win the Healthy Mentality: Designing a Chatbot Service for the Elderly

Hyeyoung Ryu, Soyeon Kim, Dain Kim, Sooan Han, Keeheon Lee, Younah Kang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Although suicide among older adults is increasing in severity in the aging among South Koreans, older adult depression and anxiety, which are two crucial factors affecting suicide in this population, are not adequately addressed by the status quo. Existing products and services emphasize physical needs; however, they still lack a user-oriented approach. Moreover, offers for mental health care are costly and exclude potential users from the development process, thus inhibiting older adults from having better access to such services. To address this problem, we designed and developed a mental health care chatbot, Yeonheebot, to decrease anxiety and depression among older adults. Yeonheebot initiates conversations regarding daily care for the well-being of older adults and provides features related to their interests as initiatives for using the mental health care chatbot. To examine whether a short-term, yet repeating conversation with the agent could help reduce anxiety and depression among older adults, we conducted a 2-week field study with 25 users. The results indicate that the constant use of Yeonheebot decreased the levels of anxiety and depression by 36% and 18%, respectively. Our research implies that simple and repeated interactions could help Korean older adults cope with anxiety and depression.

Original languageEnglish
Article number152
JournalProceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction
Issue numberCSCW2
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Oct 14

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 ACM.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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