Assessing the usability of a chatbot for mental health care

Gillian Cameron*, David Cameron, Gavin Megaw, Raymond Bond, Maurice Mulvenna, Siobhan O’Neill, Cherie Armour, Michael McTear

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

10 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this paper is to assess the usability of a chatbot for mental health care within a social enterprise. Chatbots are becoming more prevalent in our daily lives, as we can now use them to book flights, manage savings, and check the weather. Chatbots are increasingly being used in mental health care, with the emergence of “virtual therapists”. In this study, the usability of a chatbot named iHelpr has been assessed. iHelpr has been developed to provide guided self-assessment, and tips for the following areas: stress, anxiety, depression, sleep, and self esteem. This study used a questionnaire developed by Chatbottest, and the System Usability Scale to assess the usability of iHelpr. The participants in this study enjoyed interacting with the chatbot, and found it easy to use. However, the study highlighted areas that need major improvements, such as Error Management and Intelligence. A list of recommendations has been developed to improve the usability of the iHelpr chatbot.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternet Science - INSCI 2018 International Workshops, Revised Selected Papers
EditorsAsbjørn Følstad, Harry Halpin, Heiko Niedermayer, Svetlana S. Bodrunova, Anna Smoliarova, Olessia Koltsova, Polina Kolozaridi, Leonid Yuldashev
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)9783030177041
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jan 2019
Event5th International Conference on Internet Science, INSCI 2018 - St. Petersburg, Russian Federation
Duration: 24 Oct 201826 Oct 2018

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume11551 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Conference5th International Conference on Internet Science, INSCI 2018
Country/TerritoryRussian Federation
CitySt. Petersburg


  • Chatbot usability
  • Chatbots
  • Human Computer Interaction
  • Mental healthcare
  • Microsoft Bot Framework
  • System Usability Scale
  • User experience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Computer Science(all)


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