The Digital Patient

Ahn, Sun Joo (Grace) (2016). Using avatars and agents to promote real world health behavior changes. In Combs, C. D., Sokolowski, J. A., & Banks, C. M. (Eds.), The Digital Patient: Advancing Healthcare, Research, and Education (Chapter 12, pp. 167-178). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Abstract: This chapter reviews the past and current trends of one particularly intriguing aspect of virtual worlds—virtual representations commonly known as avatars—in the context of health behavior change.  Despite the growing interest in the influence of virtual representations on health behaviors, there has been a surprising dearth of research exploring the use of virtual representations as a direct and central vehicle of behavior change.  State-of-the-art findings on the use of virtual representations to promote behavior change will be discussed first, followed by a more detailed discussion of recent studies that specifically target health behavior change using virtual representations.

Sun Joo (Grace) Ahn 

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